By Michael Marzzacco
The Nationals have been looking for someone to help address their bullpen issues for a while now and they found that need by acquiring closer Mark Melancon from the Pittsburgh Pirates.
The Nats will send Felipe Rivero to Pittsburgh in the deal as well as Minor League prospect Taylor Hearn. Hearn pitched for the Nats Low-A affiliate Hagerstown Suns with a 2.79 ERA this season.
Washington missed a chance to acquire Aroldis Chapman, who went from the Yankees to the Cubs in exchange of minor leaguers but this was a more beneficial deal for the Nats. The Nationals still have their top prospects in Reynaldo Lopez and Lucas Giolito, who could’ve gone to New York had they went after Chapman.
Expect Melancon to move into the closers role to replace recently struggling Jonathan Papelbon. Melancon doesn’t make headlines the way Chapman does but he is really good. He has 30 saves so far this season and has a 1.80 ERA and 0.926 WHIP in the last four seasons combined.