Nationals acquire Ryan Madson and Sean Doolittle from the Athletics

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The Athletics dealt right-hander Ryan Madson and left-hander Sean Doolittle to the Nationals for right-hander Blake Treinen, minor league lefty Jesus Luzardo and infielder Sheldon Neuse, per a team announcement. The deal was first rumored to be in the works on Saturday and was confirmed by the clubs on Sunday.

Madson and Doolittle will help round out the Nationals’ bullpen, which suffered from a collective 5.34 ERA and -0.9 fWAR through the first half of the season. Madson, in particular, has pitched to a stellar 2.06 ERA, complementing his airtight run prevention with a 1.4 BB/9 and 8.9 SO/9 through 39 1/3 innings. Doolittle holds a more modest 3.38 ERA on the year, but his 0.8 BB/9 and 13.1 SO/9 have been the hallmarks of his six-year career to date.

In return, the A’s received right-handed reliever Blake Treinen, whose 5.73 ERA, 3.1 BB/9 and 7.6 SO/9 have helped drag the Nationals’ bullpen to a league-worst ranking. Despite his struggles on the mound this year, Treinen is only one season removed from a sparkling career-best 2.28 ERA in 2016 and has been the model of consistency in each of his previous three campaigns with the Nationals.

Minor leaguers Sheldon Neuse and Jesus Luzardo also rounded out the deal on Oakland’s end. Neuse, 22, was drafted in the second round of the 2016 amateur draft and has split his 2017 season between third base and short in Single-A Hagerstown. He’s batting .291/.349/.469 with nine home runs and an .818 OPS through 321 PA in his first season in the South Atlantic League.

Left-hander Jesus Luzardo, 19, is just starting his first stint in pro ball. He was drafted out of Stoneman-Douglas High School in the third round of the 2016 draft, not three months after undergoing Tommy John surgery on his left elbow. He was assigned to the Nationals’ Gulf Coast League affiliate in 2017 and is 1-0 through his first three starts in rookie ball, touting a 1.32 ERA and 9.9 SO/9 through 13 2/3 innings.

Colin Poche, Rays go to arbitration just $125,000 apart

Colin Poche torn UCL
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ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. – Reliever Colin Poche went to salary arbitration with the Tampa Bay Rays on Tuesday with the sides just $125,000 apart.

The gap between the $1.3 million the pitcher asked for and the $1,175,000 the team offered was the smallest among the 33 players who exchanged proposed arbitration figures last month. The case was heard by John Woods, Jeanne Vonhof and Walt De Treux, who will hold their decision until later this month.

A 29-year-old left-hander, Poche had Tommy John surgery on July 29, 2020, and returned to the major leagues last April 22 after six appearances at Triple-A Durham. Poche was 4-2 with a 3.99 ERA and seven saves in 65 relief appearances for the Rays. He struck out 64 and walked 22 in 58 2/3 innings.

Poche had a $707,800 salary last year.

Tampa Bay went to arbitration on Monday with reliever Ryan Thompson, whose decision also is being held until later this month. He asked for $1.2 million and the Rays argued for $1 million.

Rays right-hander Jason Adam and outfielder Harold Ramirez remain scheduled for hearings.

Players and teams have split four decisions thus far. All-Star pitcher Max Fried ($13.5 million) lost to Atlanta and reliever Diego Castillo ($2.95 million) was defeated by Seattle, while pitcher Jesus Luzardo ($2.45 million) and AL batting champion Luis Arraez ($6.1 million) both beat the Marlins.

A decision also is pending for Los Angeles Angels outfielder Hunter Renfroe.

Eighteen additional players are eligible for arbitration and hearings are scheduled through Feb. 17. Among the eligible players is Seattle utilityman Dylan Moore, who has a pending three-year contract worth $8,875,000.