4:08pm: The Nationals have formally announced the move.
3:15pm: The Nationals have exercised their $6MM club option on left-hander Sean Doolittle, tweets Chelsea Janes of the Washington Post. No official announcement has been made just yet, though as Janes notes, it was an obvious call for the Nationals that was never in any doubt.
The 32-year-old Doolittle enjoyed one what was very arguably the finest season of his career in 2018, tossing 45 innings with a minuscule 1.60 ERA as the Nationals’ primary closer. He saved 25 games and notched an absurd 60-to-6 K/BB ratio in that time, with the only real blemish on his season being a left foot injury that sidelined him for nearly two months. Beyond that, Doolittle was one of the best relievers in all of Major League Baseball this past season, making it an absolute no-brainer for the Nats to pick up his option.
As a bonus for the Nationals, they also hold a 2020 club option over the lefty — one that comes with a similarly affordable $6.5MM base salary. Doolittle has had some durability issues in the past, but he’s consistently dominant when healthy and should continue to serve as a key piece in the Nats’ bullpen for the next two years.