Just this morning, the Washington Nationals sent closer Brad Hand over to the Toronto Blue Jays in exchange for catcher Riley Adams. Toronto, just above a .500 winning percentage, look to add Brad Hand to their late innings mix. Hand will join relievers Jordan Romano, Adam Cimber, and Rafael Dolis to help the Blue Jays win more ball games.
Brad Hand, a well-established MLB veteran, locked down 21 saves in 26 opportunities with the Nationals. The left-hander holds a 5-5 record, with a 3.59 ERA. Drafted by the Marlins in the second round of the 2008 Draft, he has come a long way with transitioning over to the bullpen. Hand was originally a starter when he first came to the big leagues in 2011. Since he transitioned to the bullpen in 2016 with San Diego, Hand has not looked back since.
According to MLB Pipeline, Riley Adams was ranked the 17th prospect in Toronto’s organization. Adams made his Major League debut this season, only collecting three hits in 28 at-bats for the big league club. Throughout 35 games with AAA Buffalo, Adams slashed .239 with 7 home runs and 17 RBI’s. In the minors, Adams has a career .993 fielding percentage, so that can benefit the Nationals by having a well-rounded defensive catcher.
The real question becomes if Brad Hand can solve the answer to the latest bullpen struggles for the Jays. Toronto recently called up LHP Kirby Snead from their AAA team. Snead could be sent back down to make room once Brad Hand is activated. It seems that Hand will get a majority of the save opportunities, which can help Jordan Romano return to a set-up reliever role. In 36 games this season, Romano holds a 2.29 ERA and has finished 19 games for the Blue Jays.
The Nationals are still actively looking to trade some pieces, with Brad Hand being the first to depart. Max Scherzer started Game 1 of today’s doubleheader. Scherzer is a name expected to be traded between today or tomorrow. The Nationals will be looking to build around Juan Soto, gaining pieces to put around him. Washington is currently in 4th place in the NL East Division, falling under .500 at 46-54. It will be interesting to see whether Washington decides to hold onto Trea Turner to help boost and develop their farm system with a younger crop of talent.
With the MLB Trade Deadline about one more day away, anything is possible within the next day. Will the Washington Nationals trade more veterans to start building up their team for the future? Can the Blue Jays acquire more bullpen depth? Many questions will be answered by trades in the next 24 hours. Keep your phones readily available, the hot stove is burning!