The move reunites Doolittle with his former University of Virginia teammate Ryan Zimmerman.
Washington's bullpen of relief pitchers has a 5.34 earned-run average, ranked last in the major leagues. On the season, he is 1-0 with three saves and a 3.38 ERA (8 ER/21.1 IP). Despite three blown saves, Madson prides himself on his 2.11 ERA with 38 strikeouts in 38 innings of work.
Washington assumes the rest of Madson's $7.5 million salary this season and his $7.5 million salary in 2018. Madson and Doolittle also don't allow many runners, with both of them now carrying WHIPs under 0.80. As for Doolittle, he's so dominant against lefties that it's hard to envision Baker reserving him exclusively for ninth-inning use when there's sure to be tough lefty hitters who need to be retired in earlier innings. He underwent shoulder surgery the following season, but has been a reliable reliever for Oakland during the past two seasons.
Doolittle, 30, has yet to allow a hit to a left-handed batter in 23 appearances this season.
A veteran of six Major League seasons, Doolittle has recorded 36 saves - including a career-high 22 in 2014 - and a 3.09 ERA in 254 career games. The Nationals interest in numerous relievers has intensified the last few weeks, and we can now add two more to that ever growing list.
Madson missed all of the 2012-14 seasons with injury, but has been a workhorse since returning to the big leagues in 2015. Unfortunately, while both have closer experience, neither profile as a playoff tested closer type.
Regardless of their age, both Doolittle and Madson join the Nationals after putting together phenomenal seasons for the Athletics while maintaining mid-90s velocity.
Doolittle, in particular, is having a phenomenal year with 13.1 K/9 and less than a walk per nine innings.
"During my tenure here, it's got to be number one", Price said of the decision to claim Gennett off waivers.
To the surprise of many, Madson is the better pitcher this year.
After whiffing on the big three of Aroldis Chapman, Kenley Jansen and Mark Melancon in free agency last winter, the Nats initially anointed the unproven Treinen, who quickly proved that, good as he was in setup duty previous year, he wasn't ready for prime time.