The Angels finalized a one-year free agent contract with Ryan Madson on Wednesday afternoon and intend to use him at closer. Which leads us here:
According to Jayson Stark of ESPN, the Angels “were letting clubs know today” that 25-year-old right-hander Jordan Walden is available through a trade.
Walden served as the Angels’ primary closer during the 2011 season, converting 32 saves alongside a superb 2.98 ERA. He took a backseat to Ernesto Frieri in 2012 but still posted decent numbers in a setup role and currently boasts a 3.06 career ERA in over 114 total major league innings.
The Halos are probably open to a range of different types of return packages. They need reliable starting pitching, but it’s doubtful that a guy like Walden will be able to fetch that.
The Nationals have acquired left-handed reliever Marc Rzepczynski and cash considerations from the A’s in exchange for minor league infielder Max Schrock.
Schrock is a 21-year-old second baseman who has been pretty darn impressive in A-ball this year, but the Nats can be excused for giving up promise in 2018 or whatever for some bullpen help come playoff time. Rzepczynski walks a few too many guys for my taste but he strikes ’em out at a pretty decent rate for a LOOGY and the Nats could use another southpaw reliever apart from Oliver Perez. This is especially true given how many tough lefty hitters they may face in the playoffs.
On the basic merits, sure, Rzepczynski for Schrock may look pretty dang good for the A’s in a few years. But this October the A’s will be watching on TV from home while the Nats will be trying to win it all, making the trade pretty darn understandable from their point of view.
Meanwhile, in Tulsa, Zach Welz of the visiting Arkansas Travelers made a spectacular catch. It was the catch Torii Hunter tried to make on that famous David Ortiz homer in the playoffs a few years back except Welz made it.
Watch as he topples over the wall to come up with the would-be dinger off the bat of Tulsa Drillers first baseman Cody Bellinger: