Needless to say, the Washington Nationals have one of the worst bullpens in the Majors. They’re just one of two clubs (Detroit Tigers) to have an aggregate reliever FanGraphs WAR in the negatives, and their bullpen ERA is over 5.00. They did acquire Sean Doolittle and Ryan Madson from the A’s last week, and Matt Albers has been effective this season (except while in the closer role), but this squad still lacked the necessary depth to compete in October.
The Nationals have taken another step to resolve that deficiency by trading for All-Star Brandon Kintzler. In his first full season as the Twins’ closer, he has 28 saves and a 2.78 ERA. The details of the trade come from Chelsea Janes of the Washington Post.
Nats sending lefty Tyler Watson, lefty from Hagerstown, to Minnesota. Was 6-4 with a 4.35 this year, but rising fast.— Chelsea Janes (@chelsea_janes) July 31, 2017
Kintzler is a rental. Owed about $1 mil for rest of season. Nats get three key relievers before the deadline, all veterans.— Chelsea Janes (@chelsea_janes) July 31, 2017
A 34th round pick in 2015, the 20-year-old Watson has thrown a career high 93 innings for Class-A Hagerstown, striking out a quarter of the batters he’s faced and producing a quality 3.39 FIP and 3.24 xFIP. The lefty was ranked as Washington’s 17th ranked prospect on MLB.com’s prospect rankings.