Report: Bullpen help is Nationals’ ‘top priority’ at trade deadline

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MLB.com’s Bill Ladson, quoting an unnamed source, reports that bullpen help is the Nationals’ “top priority” heading into the upcoming August 1 non-waiver trade deadline. In particular, the Nats have their eyes on the Yankees’ Andrew Miller and Aroldis Chapman.

As Craig noted earlier today, the Yankees’ front office is split as to whether to attempt to fight for a playoff spot or rebuild for future years. Owner Hal Steinbrenner and president Randy Levine still think the Yankees are contenders, while Brian Cashman and the club’s entire baseball operations department are convinced the club should sell.

The Nationals have the third-best bullpen ERA in baseball at 3.11. However, closer Jonathan Papelbon has been good but not dominant. Adding a lights out reliever like Miller or Chapman would certainly make an impact.

Miller, 31, will open the second half with a 1.37 ERA and a 69/6 K/BB ratio in 39 1/3 innings. He’s owed the remainder of his $9 million salary for this season as well as $9 million in each of the next two seasons.

Chapman, 28, served a 30-game suspension starting at the beginning of the season due to an offseason domestic violence incident. Thus far, he’s compiled 17 saves with a 2.49 ERA and a 38/6 K/BB ratio in 25 1/3 innings. Chapman is owed the remainder of his $11.325 million salary for the 2016 season and can become a free agent after the season.

O’Day retires following 15 seasons for 6 major league teams

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ATLANTA (AP) Right-hander Darren O'Day, who posted a 4.15 ERA in 28 games with the Atlanta Braves in 2022, announced Monday he is retiring after 15 seasons for six teams in the major leagues.

O’Day said on his Twitter account “it’s finally time to hang ’em up.”

“The mental, physical and time demands have finally outweighed my love for the game,” O’Day said.

O’Day, 40, featured an unconventional sidearm delivery. He was 42-21 with a 2.59 ERA in 644 games, all in relief. He made his major league debut in 2008 with the Angels and pitched seven seasons, from 2012-18, for the Baltimore Orioles.

He posted a 4.43 ERA in 30 postseason games, including the 2010 World Series with the Texas Rangers.

O’Day also pitched for the New York Mets and New York Yankees. He pitched for the Braves in 2019-20 before returning for his second stint with the team last season. He became a free agent following the season.

He set a career high with six saves for Baltimore in 2015, when he was 6-2 with a 1.52 ERA and was an AL All-Star.