Washington has been linked to basically every left-handed free agent reliever and now Bill Ladson of MLB.com reports that the Nationals have “expressed interest” in Scott Downs.
Downs was traded from the Angels to the Braves in July and then left off Atlanta’s playoff roster, but he pitched well overall with a 2.49 ERA and 37/19 K/BB ratio in 43 innings. He’s posted a sub-3.50 ERA in seven consecutive seasons, with a combined 2.33 ERA during that time, although at age 37 the Nationals would probably be scared away from a multi-year commitment.
Free agent reliever Bryan Shaw has received two multiyear offers, Paul Hoynes of the Cleveland Plain Dealer reports. The teams in question have not been revealed, but the demand for Shaw is expected to be high as he comes off of a career-best season.
The 30-year-old right-hander went 4-6 in 79 appearances for the Indians, drawing a 3.52 ERA, 2.6 BB/9 and 8.6 SO/9 in 76 2/3 innings. He ranked 12th among qualified relievers with 1.6 fWAR, his highest mark to date, and proved instrumental in helping the club reach their second consecutive division title in 2017.
The Mets are the last known team to show interest in Shaw, as the New York Post’s Mike Puma reported Wednesday. Nothing has been officially confirmed by the club yet, naturally, but they could still use a couple of arms to round out the bullpen behind Jerry Blevins, AJ Ramos and Jeurys Familia and it’s worth noting that the right-hander has already worked closely with Mets’ skipper and former Indians’ pitching coach Mickey Callaway. While Shaw’s proven consistency and durability should appeal to a wide variety of teams, he’s due for a big payday after making just $4.6 million in his last year with the Indians.