Please ignore the parts where I doubted the Lerners would pay Madson's salary and I called Doolittle "a less than logical fit". He was 1-0 with a 1.32 ERA in three starts this season in the Gulf Coast Rookie League, with no walks and 15 strikeouts in 13 2/3 innings.
Doolittle has had some injury problems this season, but has been effective when healthy. More impressive is that he is striking out batters at a rate of 13.1 per nine and has only two walks all season through 21.1 frames.
Though Doolittle is several years removed from his 2014 All-Star campaign, he has pitched well over the past two seasons. MLB.com ranked Neuse as the system's sixth-best prospect thanks to his well-rounded set of skills and potential to become a regular at third. They also do need some outfield prospects, which the Nationals have plenty of. Luzardo was recovering from Tommy John Surgery, but debuted this year with a lot of success. His fastball now sits in the mid 90s, and he has excellent command of great offspeed pitches. Luzardo is in his first season as a professional at 19.
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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. "I think the ability and the stuff was important to us". That means the Nationals are picking up the entire contracts of both Madson and Doolittle, which lessened the return for the A's.
Doolittle and Madson were both signed through next season and the Nationals have agreed to take on all 11+ million that those two players would have cost. The Washington Post has reported that the team considers Victor Robles, Erick Fedde, Juan Soto, and Carter Kieboom as untouchable in trade talks. He's also already 22 years old, so he should be productive at that level. Along with Daniel Johnson, Rafael Bautista, Drew Ward, and others, the Nats have a boatload of prospects who could be used to acquire another reliever. Things got so bad that 34-year-old Matt Albers, who went a major league record 461 relief appearances without recording a save, finally tallied one. Those last three are some uninspiring names, though Koda Glover and Shawn Kelley are on the mend now. After all, Madson has plenty of closing experience, including 86 career saves and a 30-save season as recently as previous year with Oakland. The bad news is that those two may not be enough to get them over the top in the playoffs. He is under team control through 2020 and is very affordable. That being said, there are a couple of weeks before the trade deadline and it wouldn't be surprising to see the Nationals add another bullpen arm to give them even more depth. You can't ask much more of Mike Rizzo.