The Nationals are once again hunting for relief help before the 31st July trade deadline and Greene is one of the best bullpen arms expected to be available. Washington’s bullpen ranks 22nd in baseball in Baseball Reference’s Wins Above Average, outside of closer Sean Doolittle and veteran Fernando Rodney, the Nationals relief corps has been unreliable. After a poor start, they are well back in contention now, but their bullpen remains a concern.
Only two Major League teams, the Oakland Athletics and New York Mets, have blown more saves than the Nationals. With a lot of money invested in the top of their rotation, it is crucial they add an arm or two to build a better bridge to Doolittle.
Tigers beat writer Jason Beck reported only a few days ago that Detroit asked for Carter Kieboom in a potential Greene trade. While that deal obviously isn’t happening, and might have put the Nationals off, that is clearly a starting point in negotiations, and there’s no reason that a deal can’t still be struck.
The Tigers need to add position prospects to their farm, which is loaded with great young arms including 2018 first overall pick Casey Mize. Double-A infielder and top 100 prospect Luis Garcia will attract Detroit’s attention too, but again it’s unlikely he gets moved. Yasel Antuna, a switch-hitter with plenty of pop, looks a very good fit for a potential Greene trade. Washington also have a pair of High-A outfielders in Gane Canning and Telmito Agustin who could be paired with Antuna in a deal.
Under control through next season, Greene is a valuable asset ahead of the deadline. The Nationals have other options for controllable relievers, such as Sam Dyson and Jake Diekman, if they want to stay away from the rental market, but neither are pitching quite as well as Greene. The Tigers’ closer has a 79th percentile strikeout rate and an excellent expected batting average against.
Lots of teams have position players that could interest the Tigers, but few are as motivated to add relievers like the Nationals are.