Make us your home page

Get the quickest, smartest news, analysis and photos from the Bucs game emailed to you shortly after the final whistle.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Nats acquire new closer in trade with Pirates

Mark Melancon has 30 saves and a 1.51 ERA this season.

Mark Melancon has 30 saves and a 1.51 ERA this season.

SAN FRANCISCO — Pirates GM Neal Huntington tried to tell Mark Melancon he had been traded. And tried. And tried.

"I felt bad because I missed his call three times because my phone was on silent, so I woke up to that," the reliever said Saturday after he awakened from his nap and learned he had been dealt to the Nationals.

Washington sent RH reliever Felipe Rivero and LHP prospect Taylor Hearn to Pittsburgh for Melancon, who supplants struggling Jonathan Papelbon as the Nationals' closer. Melancon is expected to join the team today.

Melancon, 31, has converted 30 of 33 saves with a 1.51 ERA this season and joins his fifth organization in eight years.

Once considered a possible successor to Mariano Rivera when he broke into the majors with the Yankees in 2009, Melancon said during the All-Star break he knew a trade was possible, given his contract status.

The move comes as the Pirates find themselves on the fringe of the wild-card race. While GM Neal Huntington stressed the team remains committed to reaching the playoffs for a fourth straight season, the opportunity to deal Melancon for two young arms with friendly long-term contracts was too good to pass up.

LHP Tony Watson will take over as the Pirates' closer, manager Clint Hurdle said

TESTS FOR DAVIS: Royals closer Wade Davis flew back to Kansas City have an MRI exam on his sore right (pitching) forearm. The former Ray was on the DL in early July with a forearm strain. Also, the Royals acquired OF Billy Burns from the A's for OF prospect Brett Eibner. Burns, 26, who has been playing at Triple-A Nashville, hit .234 with a .270 on-base percentage, a .303 slugging percentage and 14 steals in 17 attempts in 73 games with Oakland this season. Eibner, 27, batted .231/.286/.423 in 26 games for the Royals. The A's also placed LHP Rich Hill on the 15-day disabled list with a blister on his left middle finger.

BRAVES-PADRES TRADE: In a deal of bad contracts, Atlanta acquired OF Matt Kemp from San Diego for OF Hector Olivera. Kemp, 31, has three years left on an eight-year, $160 million deal he signed in 2012. Olivera, also 31, has four years left on a six-year, $62.5 million deal he signed in 2015 and was suspended for 82 games in April under Major League Baseball's domestic violence policy.

BREWERS: C Jonathan Lucroy was not in the starting lineup as the team considered trade possibilities. GM David Stearns and manager Craig Counsell met before the game and decided not to start Lucroy. "He's progessing on something," Counsell said of Stearns. "We thought it best that he not be in the lineup." Lucroy, a two-time All-Star, is batting .300 with a .360 on-base percentage and a .484 slugging percentage in 94 games.

GIANTS: RF Hunter Pence was activated from the disabled list after missing 48 games with a right hamstring strain.

MARINERS: Former Rays RHP Nathan Karns went on the 15-day disabled list with a lower back strain. RHP Cody Martin was recalled from Triple-A Tacoma.

METS: 3B Jose Reyes went on the 15-day disabled list with a strained left ribcage muscle. Former Rays OF Justin Ruggiano signed a major-league deal and was in the starting lineup.

YANKEES: DH Alex Rodriguez was in the lineup against the Rays for the first time in a week, looking to snap a 2-for-22 slump.

Nats acquire new closer in trade with Pirates 07/30/16 [Last modified: Saturday, July 30, 2016 8:57pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. Dirk Koetter to Bucs: Take your complaints to someone who can help


    TAMPA — It was just another day of aching bellies at One Save Face.

    Dirk Koetter: “All of our issues are self-inflicted right now.”
  2. Bucs journal: Few complaints about Jameis Winston's play


    TAMPA — It wasn't enough to pull out a win Sunday at Buffalo, but a week removed from a shoulder sprain, Bucs quarterback Jameis Winston threw for 384 yards and three touchdowns against the NFL's No. 2 pass defense.

    Tampa Bay Buccaneers cornerback Brent Grimes (24) signs autographs for fans before an NFL game between the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and Minnesota Vikings at U.S. Bank Stadium in Minneapolis, Minn., on Sunday, Sept. 24, 2017.
  3. Lightning's Jon Cooper uses unusual tactic to create mismatches

    Lightning Strikes

    TAMPA — Tyler Johnson is about to swing his left leg over the boards for his next shift alongside linemate Alex Killorn and … who else?

    Stamkos? Kucherov? Point?

    Tampa Bay Lightning head coach Jon Cooper argues the called as his team gets a faceoff violation, leading to penalty and #Caps PP goal, during second period action at the Amalie Arena in Tampa Monday evening (10/09/17).DIRK SHADD   |   Times
  4. A buzz-worthy look at the Astros-Dodgers World Series matchup

    The Heater

    Houston Astros' Yuli Gurriel is congratulated by Jose Altuve after scoring during the fifth inning of Game 7 of baseball's American League Championship Series against the New York Yankees Saturday, Oct. 21, 2017, in Houston. (AP Photo/David J. Phillip) TXMG170
  5. Florida, FSU try to ignore death threats, angry fans


    GAINESVILLE — Frustration over uncharacteristically down seasons at Florida and Florida State has started to spill over from message boards and start crossing real-world lines.

    Fans watch the Florida Gators game against Texas A&M, at Ben Hill Griffin Stadium, in Gainesville, Fla. At the half, Florida was up 10 to 3.