Blue Jays get closer Brad Hand from selling Nationals

Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports
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PHILADELPHIA — The Toronto Blue Jays acquired closer Brad Hand from Washington, getting some bullpen help from a skidding Nationals team that has turned into a trade-deadline seller.

The 31-year-old Hand is 5-5 with a 3.59 ERA and 21 saves in 26 opportunities for the Nationals, who entered Thursday’s doubleheader at Philadelphia eight games under .500 and in the midst of a COVID-19 outbreak that has sidelined four players. Washington is 6-16 in July.

The Blue Jays sent catcher Riley Adams to Washington.

Toronto entered Thursday at 50-48, good for fourth place in the tough AL East, but the Blue Jays are 4 1/2 games back of the second AL wild card as they prepare to begin their first true homestand of the season on Friday. Toronto had played home games in Dunedin, Florida, and Buffalo, New York, this season because of pandemic-related travel restrictions between the U.S. and Canada.

Hand signed a one-year, $10.5 million contract with Washington in the offseason. Before that, he spent parts of three seasons with Cleveland, where he had 58 saves. The 11-year veteran has also pitched in the majors for Miami and San Diego.

The 25-year-old Adams hit .239 with seven homers and 17 RBIs in 35 games or Triple-A Buffalo. He has appeared in 12 games this season for Toronto, batting .107.

The Nationals have reportedly been in trade talks involving several players, including three-time Cy Young Award winner Max Scherzer. Scherzer started the opener of Thursday’s doubleheader against the Phillies, an unusual move for a player who is likely to be traded.

“I told him to do whatever he does best, which is compete and not to worry about anything,” Nationals manager Dave Martinez said. “He’s going to go and pitch. He wants to go pitch and compete.”

Washington recalled outfielder Yadiel Hernandez from Triple-A Rochester to fill the vacant roster spot.

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.