Desperate to find some quality arms for the bullpen, the 2019 Washington Nationals traded for three players at the trading deadline. Only one of them worked out. Desperate to shed payroll and replenish a depleted farm system, the 2021 Washington Nationals traded away a handful of players. One of them will be remembered as the last man standing during that glorious 2019 season.
In a move which sees the Nationals get younger and cheaper, Daniel Hudson was traded to the San Diego Padres for two players. The twelve year veteran has been one of the best relievers in the game this season, and will leave a middling team for a contender. We might even see Hudson on the mound when the Fall Classic rolls around this year. For Nationals fans we’ll always remember him standing there, fists clinched, screaming at the top of his lungs, as players converged on the mound at the completion of the 2019 World Series.
Daniel Hudson was the last man standing that year.
With the trade of Daniel Hudson, the Nationals send away the player who closed out Game 7 of the 2019 World Series.
Baseball is a business. In less than two years from hoisting the trophy high above the field of Minute Maid Stadium, the Nationals are tearing down the house for a rebuild. Anything with value is being moved.
Relievers who can pitch high leverage situations are highly sought after. This made Daniel Hudson’s chances of staying in DC slim to none. The man can pitch. He closed out the highest leverage situation possible, in giving the Washington Nationals their first ever World Series Championship.
Now he’ll be pitching on the West Coast.
In return for Hudson come two minor league players. Thompson is a Top 20 prospect, who has battled some arm injuries over the course of his career. Barley is a shortstop in Low-A, who has wheels and could develop into a solid base-stealer.
The jury is out on these two as a lot can happen before they reach the Major Leagues, if they ever do find their way to the top level. Hudson was a proven entity. A professional from the first day he stepped foot on the field in DC.
The firesale will surely continue for the Nationals this year, with Josh Harrison and Yan Gomes predicted to be traded as well. Every sports franchise goes through periods of time like what the Nationals are going through now. They don’t all have the hardware of being the best in their league sitting on a shelf somewhere in their home stadium, like the Nats do.
Just like that, Hudson leaves Nationals fans with the image of him standing on that mound after throwing his baseball glove to the side of the field. A winner. A champion. The closer that team needed to secure a ring.