Jon Heyman reports that the Dodgers have acquired Pirates reliever Tony Watson. In exchange, the Pirates will get minor league infielder Oneil Cruz and minor league righty Angel German.
Watson has been one of baseball’s most reliable relievers over the past several years, averaging 72 appearances and posting a 158 ERA+ over the past five seasons. This season he has taken a bit of a step back, and has struggled in the closer’s role. He currently owns a 5-3 record with a 3.66 ERA and a 35/14 K/BB ratio in 46.2 innings. He has ten saves for the Pirates but has blown seven. With Kenley Jansen in Los Angeles, however, Watson will obviously not be closing.
Watson was viewed as a fallback option for the Dodgers, who were first rumored to be interested in Yu Darvish and, if he could not be acquired, were looking at relief help, with Zach Britton at the top of the radar. Britton too was ultimately unobtainable, so Watson it is.
The Athletics appear to be closing in on a deal for Mets’ right-hander Jeurys Familia, according to reports from ESPN’s Buster Olney. Nothing has been finalized just yet, however, as the Mets confirmed that they would not be announcing a trade tonight and Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic points out that other teams may still be in the mix for Familia’s services. It’s not clear what the A’s would be giving up in any potential deal for the reliever.
Familia, 28, has been pitching well this season. He currently sports a 2.88 ERA, 3.1 BB/9 and 9.5 SO/9 through 40 2/3 innings — across-the-board improvements from his last run with the Mets in 2017 — and has racked up 17 saves to boot. He’s due another $3 million for the remainder of 2018, and Rosenthal adds that the club is willing to throw some cash in the deal in order to guarantee a better return for the closer.
While the A’s have one of the better bullpens in the American League, sitting seventh-best with a 3.50 ERA and 2.8 fWAR, they still have a ways to go in order to overtake the Mariners and Astros for a postseason berth by season’s end. Familia’s contract expires at the end of the year, but he should provide enough short-term value to give the A’s the boost they need.