Could the Phillies steal Sean Doolittle away from the Nationals?
A lot of things would have to go wrong for the Washington Nationals for them to consider trading Sean Doolittle, who is in the final year of his contract.
Washington is already dealing with injuries, seeing Juan Soto receive a positive COVID-19 test and Stephen Strasburg deal with a nerve issue in his hand. If issues persist for the Nationals health-wise and they begin to slip in the standings, they could look to move a pitcher in the final year of his contract for valuable prospects.
Washington certainly doesn’t want the year after their championship season to be a wash, but trading Doolittle doesn’t mean the Nationals are going into a full rebuild.
In 2016 the New York Yankees traded Aroldis Chapman to the Cubs and acquired Gleyber Torres, one of the top prospects in baseball. Chicago went on to win the World Series, but the Yankees re-signed Chapman the following offseason and landed one of the best young players in baseball in the process with Torres.
Washington could certainly go this route and seek a top prospect for one of the top closers in baseball in a deal that would only get you Doolittle for a month. Is a team going to give up a prospect the caliber of Torres for only a month? Maybe not, but the Nationals could pick up one or two pieces to add to an already talented roster.
Doolittle, who turns 34 in September, has a career 3.02 ERA with 111 career saves, most of which have come in the last three seasons with Washington. His best season, by far, was 2018 when he had a 1.60 ERA and 25 saves in an All-Star season.
Again, a lot would have to go wrong for the Nationals to trade Doolittle, especially in a season where three teams from the division could make the playoffs, but it’s a dream we can all hope for.