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Oakland sends Doolittle, Madson to Washington

Ken Rosenthal reports the Nationals are acquiring Sean Doolittle and Ryan Madson from Oakland for Blake Treinen and prospects

MLB: Cleveland Indians at Oakland Athletics Kelley L Cox-USA TODAY Sports

The Oakland A’s have traded relievers Sean Doolittle and Ryan Madson to the Washington Nationals for relief pitcher Blake Treinen and prospects Sheldon Neuse and Jesus Luzardo.

That’s a significant move for the Nats, who get a veteran closer and a very good lefty reliever to fortify a bullpen that has been problematic, to say the least, despite the Nationals having Mike Maddux as their pitching coach (since, you know, supposedly all the Rangers’ bullpen problems are because Maddux isn’t here anymore).

Madson was signed to a 3 year, $22 million deal by the A’s before the 2016 season, so he is under team control through next year. Doolittle is signed through 2018, with club options for 2019 and 2020.

The 29 year old Treinen will be a reclamation project for the A’s...he was a solid reliever for the Nationals the previous three seasons, but has been awful this year, putting up a 5.73 ERA (albeit with a 3.75 FIP) in 37.2 IP in the Nationals pen. If the A’s can fix him, they will no doubt look to flip him elsewhere around this time next season.

Luzardo is a 19 year old lefthanded pitcher who was the Nationals’ third round pick in 2016, and who is currently in rookie ball. Neuse was the Nationals’ second round pick in 2016, a 22 year old infielder who has an 818 OPS in low-A this season. MLB Pipeline has Neuse and Luzardo at #6 and #10 in a Nationals system that has been drained by trades.

I’m a little surprised that the A’s didn’t get more than this for Madson and Doolittle, given that the pair are good and under team control for a while, and given how much demand there is for relief pitching right now. The second and third round picks from the Nationals in last year’s draft isn’t insubstantial, and Treinen may be fixable, but this isn’t as much as I’d have expected a team to part with.