Sean Doolittle is on pace to finish just enough games to trigger the clause in his contract that turns the Nationals’ $6.5MM club option into a mutual option, and the reliever spoke to Jesse Dougherty of the Washington Post about his future this week. “I mean, you play this game for a really long time, and any time you have even a little control over your fate, over the direction your career goes, that’s something that we all hope to have,” said the Washington closer.
It’s a critical clause for the Nationals, as the club has had perennial issues with its bullpen over the past few seasons. Doolittle himself was a midseason upgrade on the trade market and has emerged as Washington’s most reliable reliever since being acquired in 2017. He’ll need to finish 17 of the club’s final 42 games to get there, but he’s already finished 48 of 120, making that a distinct possibility. If his option converts to a mutual option, it’s quite likely that the 32-year-old will enter free agency, as he should be able to top a year and $6.5MM easily on the open market. Doolittle has a 2.65 ERA with 10.7 K/9, 1.9 BB/9 and 73 saves in 125 2/3 innings as a National.
More from the NL East…
- The Braves plan to stick with infielder Johan Camargo despite his considerable struggles at the plate and with the glove, writes Gabe Burns of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. Camargo’s playing time has increased with Dansby Swanson shelved, but the 25-year-old has turned in a career-worst .222/.268/.344 batting line through 236 plate appearances this season. And while he’s previously rated as a standout defender at third base and a passable option at shortstop, he’s had some glaring defensive miscues this season (including six errors in 320 total innings of defense after making just 13 in nearly 1100 innings a year ago). Camargo’s hard-hit rate, exit velocity and launch angle have all dipped in 2019 — so much so that Statcast doesn’t feel he’s been the victim of much poor luck. (His .262 wOBA only narrowly trails his .268 xwOBA.) Both manager Brian Snitker and GM Alex Anthopoulos acknowledged the struggles. “I don’t know that anyone knows what the answer is,” said Anthopoulos when discussing the root of Camargo’s struggles.
- Marlins CEO Derek Jeter plans to travel to meet recently acquired shortstop prospect Jazz Chisholm in the near future, he told reporters this week (link via David Wilson of the Miami Herald). However, it won’t be the first time that Jeter gets to see Chisholm play in person. Jeter saw the 21-year-old play in last year’s Arizona Fall League and said that Chisholm immediately caught his eye. “…[I]t took about three innings when I said, ’Who is that?'” Jeter recalled. “He’s someone that stood out on the field and obviously he has all the tools to be successful.” The Marlins made the risky play of dealing a Major League starter who can be controlled all the way through 2025, Zac Gallen, in order to acquire Chisholm from the Diamondbacks. Jeter, though, explained that the Marlins felt they were dealing from positions of depth when trading away Gallen, Trevor Richards, Nick Anderson, Sergio Romo and prospect Chris Vallimont. Those deals netted Chisholm and prospects Jesus Sanchez (Anderson, Richards) and Lewin Diaz (Romo, Vallimont) — adding some power upside to the organization.