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.