Washington Nationals: Recent trade with Blue Jays still paying dividends

Daniel Hudson #44 of the Washington Nationals pitches against the St. Louis Cardinals in the eighth inning at Nationals Park on April 21, 2021 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Patrick McDermott/Getty Images)
Daniel Hudson #44 of the Washington Nationals pitches against the St. Louis Cardinals in the eighth inning at Nationals Park on April 21, 2021 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Patrick McDermott/Getty Images) /
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Like clockwork, the dog days of summer usually lead the Washington Nationals to make a few trades to bolster their beleaguered bullpen. With the Nationals traveling to Dunedin, Florida to take on the Toronto Blue Jays (yes, you read that location right), we look back at the last trade these two teams made. For the Nats, this trade is still paying dividends.

A vagabond or sorts, Daniel Hudson turned his solid start to the season in 2019 into a World Series ring, an $11M contract, and extended his career a couple years. After a subpar 2020, he has slid into his eighth inning, setup role very nicely this season.

The most recent trade between the Washington Nationals and Toronto Blue Jays included Daniel Hudson and is still paying dividends.

What are the iconic moments from Game 7 of the 2019 World Series? Howie Kendrick running around first base after hitting his home run probably comes to mind first. You would be hard pressed to come up with another one aside from Hudson throwing his glove to the dugout after striking out Michael Brantley.

In a trade which garnered immediate results, Hudson was acquired from the Blue Jays for minor league pitcher Kyle Johnston. An overworked Sean Doolittle barely had time to catch his breath between appearances and his arm was beginning to show affects of overuse. Hudson stepped in nicely as the Nationals new closer, and was able to ride the high all the way through the postseason.

Hudson will admit, he was not a fan of the closer’s role. The Nationals brought him back on a two-year contract as a reliever for the 2020 season. Entering the 2021 season, you could almost hear the sigh of relief from Hudson when the Nationals signed Brad Hand this offseason to handle the ninth inning duties.

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With Will Harris on the shelf, Hudson has been the main eighth inning guy and has pitched lights out. Hudson has allowed just two hits in six inning and just one run, while holding the leads in two games and picking up wins in two others. There are a lot of question marks revolving around the Nationals right now, because of the Hudson, the eighth inning is not one of them.

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