1:24pm: The Nationals tried to expand the Eaton deal to include Robertson, USA Today’s Bob Nightengale tweets. The White Sox turned them down, however, so the two sides will discuss a Robertson deal as a separate proposition.
11:05am: Here’s the latest on the Nationals’ hunt for a closer, with details trickling in from various reporters, including MASN’s Mark Zuckerman. A new entry to the list of possible closers the Nationals are considering: David Robertson, who Zuckerman says the Nats have discussed with the White Sox. The White Sox are by now very familiar with the Nationals’ farm system after the Adam Eaton deal and the Chris Sale negotiations, so one might think the two sides could piece together a deal if there are additional prospects the White Sox like. At last check, though, the White Sox planned to wait to see where Kenley Jansen landed before striking a deal.
As with the Cubs’ deal for Wade Davis, trading for Robertson (who has two years and $25MM left on his contract) could be a way for the Nationals to avoid paying the exorbitant prices top closers like Aroldis Chapman and Mark Melancon have received on the open market, and that Jansen will likely receive. Robertson is, however, coming off a modestly disappointing season in which he posted a 3.47 ERA and a healthy 10.8 K/9, but with 4.6 BB/9. Robertson can block trades to five teams, but according to Cot’s Contracts, the Nationals are not among them.
As previously noted, the Nats did bid on Jansen, and they met with Jansen’s representatives this week. They join the Marlins and Dodgers in pursuit of the star closer. They’ve also talked with the Rays about a deal for Alex Colome. The 27-year-old Colome just had a brilliant 1.91 ERA, 11.3 K/9, 2.4 BB/9 season while saving 37 games for Tampa Bay. Acquiring Colome would likely require a steeper prospect price than acquiring Robertson, however, due to his low cost and four years of control remaining.