A couple August deals of National League note to share today, as the Nationals added a bullpen arm, and the Pirates added an infielder.
For the Nationals, I gotta say, it was a pretty crafty move, dumping two very good relievers (Brandon Kintzler and Shawn Kelley) for dubious reasons so that they could create a need to pick up … Greg Holland:
Holland, of course, was dumped by the Cardinals after an absolutely disastrous tenure there, which started late thanks to a rough free agent period, and then saw him struggle tremendously when he was healthy enough to pitch. It’s possible going elsewhere will help him rebound, but in no universe are the Nationals better on paper for having added him at this moment. They simply needed an arm because of their decisions to dump Kintzler and Kelley.
Kintzler, by the way, has thrown 3.2 scoreless innings over four appearances for the Cubs so far.
The Nationals stand 5.5 games out in the NL East, behind the Phillies and Braves. They are 4.5 games back in the Wild Card race.
Meanwhile, the Pirates keep adding in an attempt to stay in the playoff hunt after cooling down from a ridiculous run before the Trade Deadline. Now 8.5 games behind the Cubs (and 5.5 games out of the Wild Card), the Pirates have already added Chris Archer, and now add a much lesser piece from the Rays:
The Pirates have acquired infielder Adeiny Hechavarria and cash considerations from the Tampa Bay Rays in exchange for RHP Matt Seelinger. pic.twitter.com/D3TZeera0V
— Pirates (@Pirates) August 6, 2018
Hechavarria doesn’t hit much, but he can still play excellent defense, so it’s a nice August depth addition for the Pirates, if nothing else. Indeed, Hechavarria might be an overall upgrade over Jordy Mercer. Seelinger is an A-ball relief prospect.
Hechavarria is a free agent after this season, so the move is purely short-term for the Pirates.