The Nationals are contacting teams in search of late-inning relievers, both right-handed and left-handed, Jon Morosi of FOX Sports tweets. The Nationals appear set at closer, with Drew Storen having a terrific season, and their bullpen as a whole hasn’t been a weakness, ranking fifth in the NL in xFIP. It ranks tenth in the NL in ERA at 3.66, however, and hasn’t always gotten solid performances from key relievers beyond Storen. Aaron Barrett (who the Nats recently lost to a bicep strain) and Craig Stammen are on the disabled list. Rafael Soriano, Tyler Clippard and Jerry Blevins are all gone from last year’s team.
Meanwhile, the Nationals’ rotation has pitched just 5.8 innings per game this season, as CSN Washington’s Mark Zuckerman notes. The Nats don’t want to overwork bullpen veterans like Casey Janssen or Matt Thornton, which means the team has frequently had to worry about where its innings will come from. The team recently activated the newly acquired David Carpenter when it placed Barrett on the DL, and Carpenter might provide a bit of help, but it’s not surprising that the Nats would also want to look elsewhere.