Nationals general manager Mike Rizzo said Friday the club’s going into the July 31 trade deadline seeking controllable talent, especially in the bullpen. Already connected to relievers Mychal Givens and Jake Diekman so far this month, a couple more late-game arms are now on the Nationals’ radar. The club is interested in Tigers closer Shane Greene and Giants setup man Sam Dyson, Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic reports.
Not only are Greene and Dyson thriving in 2019, but they’re under wraps via the arbitration process through next season. Greene’s currently on a $4MM salary, while Dyson is making $5MM. There’s plenty of value in both cases, but if acquiring either would force the Nationals to give up prized shortstop prospect Carter Kieboom, it’s not going to happen. The Nats haven’t been willing to include Kieboom “in any deal,” according to Jamal Collier of MLB.com, and the Tigers were unsurprisingly turned down when they asked for Kieboom in exchange for Greene.
Widely regarded as one of the game’s premier prospects, the 21-year-old Kieboom would indeed be a big ask for a year-plus of a reliever, even though the Nationals are desperate for bullpen help. Despite having been weighed down by one of the majors’ worst relief groups from the get-go this year, the Nationals have gotten off to a 51-45 start and hold a one-game lead over the NL’s No. 1 wild-card spot.
With the Giants also in contention (they’re just 3 1/2 back of the Nats), acquiring Dyson could be difficult for Washington. Regardless, based on his performance this season, the 31-year-old Dyson would be an enormous get for the Nats’ relief corps. The right-hander has logged a sterling 2.68 ERA/2.67 FIP with 8.81 K/9, 1.15 BB/9 and a 55.1 percent groundball rate over 47 innings.
The 30-year-old Greene, also a righty, has put up similarly impressive numbers this season as the Tigers’ closer. Not only has Greene saved 22 of 24 chances, but he has recorded an eye-popping 1.03 ERA across 35 frames. Like Dyson, Greene’s strikeout, walk and grounder numbers are terrific. He has fanned 9.51 and walked 2.57 batters per nine, adding a 53.9 percent grounder mark for good measure. As we noted earlier this week, there’s quite a bit of good fortune baked into Greene’s output, but he has nonetheless impressed in 2019. And unlike San Francisco, Detroit’s way out of contention, making it almost a lock the Tigers will deal Greene by the deadline.