Washington might be seeking a new closer.
When they were looking to upgrade their bullpen before the July 31 non-waiver trade deadline, the Nationals saw Papelbon as an ideal fit. However, he did not receive many opportunities to save games and was ultimately suspended for the final four games of the regular season as a result of appearing to choke Harper after he didn't hustle to first base on a routine fly ball.
Before he was moved, there were questions with regard to which teams would want to take on Papelbon's notably extensive contract. The Nationals became open to doing so, but since he did not receive many opportunities and now has created a conflict in the clubhouse, a trade appears to be imminent.
Over 63.1 innings this season, Papelbon has pitched to a 2.13 ERA and 3.70 FIP. He saved 24 contests, down from the 39 he was able to save last season.
While Papelbon is expected to be moved, Ladson adds Washington is not expected to pick up Casey Janssen's $7 million option for 2016.
After a solid season with Toronto, Janssen has pitched to a 4.95 ERA and 4.08 FIP over 40.0 innings with the Nationals this season. He is known for his plus command and was Toronto's closer for three years before joining the Nationals' bullpen.
If Washington does not pick up Janssen's 2016 option, he could become a closing candidate for the handful of clubs that will be seeking closing help in the coming weeks.
Washington finished the regular season at 83-79 and might be in a position to significantly revamp its bullpen.