Storylines: Nats sign K-Rod to minors deal

Top Storylines:

– It is no secret that the Washington Nationals’ bullpen is in complete disarray.  There is very little consistency or stability in the bullpen as they have constantly been changing closers throughout the season.  They are looking for whatever help they can get.  That’s why they have come an agreement to sign right-hander reliever Francisco Rodriguez to a minor-league contract per Chelsea Janes of the Washington Post.  Rodriguez is in the midst of the worst season of his career.  He quickly lost his job as the closer for the Detroit Tigers earlier in the season and failed to show any improvement.  He was hammered for a bloated 7.82 ERA across only 25.1 innings of work thanks to allowing nine home runs over such a short sample period.  His struggles gave the Tigers little choice but to cut him loose.  It remains unclear if he has anything left in the tank.  He’s never been a hard thrower but has always been able to locate his pitches and keep batters off balance.  That hasn’t been the case for him this year, but the Nationals are more than willing to gamble on him since they have very little to lose given their own bullpen problems.  If he can regain form, he could bring some much-needed stability back to the bullpen.   If not, it is a low-risk move as the Nats would only be on the hook for the pro-rated league minimum.  

Other Storylines:

– The Tampa Bay Rays and Miami Marlins have completed a deal in which the Marlins are sending shortstop Adeiny Hechavarria to the Rays in exchange for minor leaguers Ethan Clark and Braxton Lee per Clark Spencer of the Miami Herald.  The Marlins were reportedly inching closer to a deal in which they traded the incumbent shortstop for days and have finally achieved their goal.  He is expected to see time at shortstop and will most likely displace Daniel Roberston whom was sharing time at short with Tim Beckham.  Both Beckham and Robertson are lesser defenders than Hechavarria, but Beckham has the better bat which makes Robertson the most expendable person in that trio.

– The New York Yankees are sending outfielder Aaron Hicks to the DL with a strained right oblique per a team announcement.  Hicks injured himself in Sunday’s game and will need three to four weeks to recover from the injury.  He was in the midst of a career year as he was hitting .290/.398/.515 with 10 home runs in 242 plate appearances.

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