What will Madson and Doolittle bring to Nationals bullpen?

Posted July 17, 2017

Left-handed pitching prospect Jesus Luzardo and third baseman Sheldon Neuse will be heading to Oakland. Madson owns a career-best 2.06 ERA and has a 2-4 record in 40 appearances this season.

On the one hand, it's hard to imagine Washington ponying up for someone like Robertson, who's earning $12 million this year and another $13 million next season - especially after the not-so-inexpensive acquisition of Madson and Doolittle. He's 0-2 with a 5.73 ERA and 1.62 WHIP this season. They're also very good pitchers.

On top of their obvious value on the mound, Sean Doolittle and Ryan Madson are signed to extremely affordable deals.

The problem, as it has been for months now, is everybody knows the Nationals need bullpen help.

The Nationals (55-36) will be looking to sweep the Reds in a four-game series for the first time since July 20-23, 1989, when they were still the Montreal Expos. Washington has never swept a four-game series at Cincinnati. With 14 blown saves, the bullpen's shortcomings force the starter's to go the extra mile and their 556 innings of work is the more than any other rotation in baseball. In exchange, they get a power arm in Treinen that could become a closer down the road.

Daniel Murphy, who homered twice on Sunday, was also excited about the new additions.

"During my tenure here, it's got to be number one", Price said of the decision to claim Gennett off waivers.

Nationals closer Koda Glover converted eight of 10 save chances but has not pitched since June 10 because of severe inflammation of the rotator cuff. After a decent season as the Athletics closer a year ago, Madson returned to the mound in 2017 in a setup role behind Santiago Casilla. Doolittle is owed the rest of his $2.6 million this year, $4.35 next season with a $6 million club option for 2019 and a $6.5 club option for 2020.

The Nationals have been leading the NL East for the entire season but their bullpen had been costing them games and giving up a lot of runs in the process.

Neuse, a 22-year-old who plays shortstop and third, was a second-round draft pick in 2016 and is hitting.291 with nine homers and 51 RBIs at Class A Hagerstown in the South Atlantic League.

Washington right-hander Joe Ross, who is to have Tommy John surgery on Wednesday, was transferred to the 60-day disabled list.