The Nationals have added Phillies reliever Pat Neshek to their long list of possible pitchers they are interested in acquiring and making their closer, according to Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports and Jon Heyman of FanRag Sports.
Neshek joins a big list of names that includes ex-closer Mark Melancon, David Robertson, Tony Watson, Kelvin Herrera, Roberto Osuna, Alex Colome, A.J. Ramos and Justin Wilson.
The 36-year-old Neshek has pitched incredibly well this year for Philadelphia, posting a 0.63 ERA with 25 strikeouts against four walks while making one save. In addition, Rosenthal said Neshek is a free agent and currently has a contract that can fit the Nationals’ payroll and possibly keep them under the luxury-tax threshold of $195 million.
However, Neshek is the only reliever on this list that has not been a true closer, making just eight saves in his career. The Nationals have been linked with Robertson and Melancon the longest.
Robertson, who the Nats have expressed interest in since they could not work out a deal with Melancon and he signed a $62-million deal with the Giants, has 11 saves and a 3.20 ERA in 23 appearances. Melancon has a 4.82 ERA with 11 saves, but Heyman says he has “struggled” so far, giving the Nats a chance to maybe get him back to Washington.
Watson, who was removed as the Pirates’ closer this year, has 10 saves and a 4.45 ERA. Herrera, who Heyman says has yet to be put on the trading block because Kansas City is being “patient” right now, has 17 saves but boasts a 4.50 ERA. Colome has 20 saves and Osuna has 19 saves, but Heyman says the Nationals “don’t see” the Rays or Blue Jays dealing them.
Ramos has 10 saves, including two against Washington, but Heyman says the Marlins closer is “lower on their list” of potential closers. Wilson has four saves for the Tigers since taking over the ninth inning for Francisco Rodriguez