Report: Nationals trying to acquire Ryan Madson and Sean Doolittle

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The Nationals have a mighty need for relievers, and FOX Sports’ Ken Rosenthal reports that they’re trying to acquire at least two from the Athletics. According to Rosenthal, the Nationals are pushing to trade for both right-hander Ryan Madson and left-hander Sean Doolittle, though he notes that the club will continue to keep an eye out for other talent if a deal can’t be struck.

Madson, 36, stands to receive $7.5 million in 2017 and another $7.5 million in 2018. He’s been lights-out for the Athletics this season, delivering a career-best 2.11 ERA, 1.4 BB/9 and second-best 8.6 SO/9 through 38 1/3 innings.

Doolittle, meanwhile, is due the rest of his $2.6 million salary in 2017 and another $4.35 million in 2018. He has two club options for the 2019 and 2020 seasons, at $6 million and $6.5 million, respectively. The 30-year-old lefty reliever has struggled to stay healthy during his 2017 campaign after succumbing to a shoulder strain and missing several weeks on the disabled list. When healthy, he paired a 3.38 ERA with an unbelievable 0.8 BB/9 and 13.1 SO/9 over 21 1/3 innings in the first half of the season.

Both relievers would represent a significant upgrade for the Nationals, whose relief corps ranks dead last among major league bullpens thanks to a flurry of untimely injuries. Rosenthal adds that it’s still unclear what kind of return they’re prepared to offer the Athletics, but it seems reasonable to assume that they’ll be willing to part with several prospects in order to bolster their pitching staff, especially if they’re serious about making a run at the championship title later this year.

Rays’ Díaz gets $24 million, three-year deal, avoids arbitration

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ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. – Tampa Bay Rays infielder Yandy Díaz agreed to a $24 million, three-year contract on Tuesday that avoided a salary arbitration hearing.

Díaz’s agreement could be worth $36 million over four seasons.

The 31-year old will receive $6 million this season, $8 million in 2024 and $10 million for 2025. The 2026 club is $12 million with no buyout. There is a $1 million assignment bonus that would be payable by receiving team.

Díaz has spent parts of six seasons in the majors with Cleveland (2017-18) and Tampa Bay (2019-22). He has a career average of .278 with 39 home runs and 198 RBIs.

Acquired by the Rays in a three-team trade on Dec. 13, 2018, Díaz hit .296 with nine homers and 57 RBIs in 137 games last season, He career highs with 71 runs, 140 hits, 33 doubles, and 78 walks.

Díaz was the third Rays’ arbitration-eligible player to reach a deal.

Reliever Pete Fairbanks agreed Friday to a $12 million, three-year contract that could be worth up to $24.6 million over four seasons. The 29-year-old right-hander was 0-0 with a 1.13 ERA in 24 appearances last year after beginning the season on the 60-day injured list with a right lat strain.

Left-hander Jeffrey Springs also agreed last week to a $31 million, four-year contract that could be worth $65.75 million over five seasons.

The 30-year-old began last season in the bullpen and transitioned to the starting rotation in May and finished 9-5 with a 2.46 ERA in 33 appearances, including 25 starts.

Tampa Bay remains scheduled for hearings with right-handers Jason Adam and Ryan Thompson, left-hander Colin Poche, and outfielder Harold Ramírez.