The Dodgers have acquired veteran right-handed reliever Ryan Madson from the Nationals in exchange for right-handed pitching prospect Andrew Istler, as MLB.com’s Ken Gurnick, The Athletic’s Ken Rosenthal, and Fancred’s Jon Heyman first reported on Friday afternoon:
Madson is going to dodgers. Nats get a prospect. @Ken_Rosenthal 1st— Jon Heyman (@JonHeyman) August 31, 2018
The Los Angeles Dodgers today acquired RHP Ryan Madson (#50) in a trade with the Washington Nationals for minor league RHP Andrew Istler.— Los Angeles Dodgers (@Dodgers) August 31, 2018
The 38-year-old Madson has a ton of playoff experience, having posted a 2.85 ERA in 46 postseason games over six years. That could be beneficial for a Dodgers club that really lacks any significant intrigue in its bullpen beyond closer Kenley Jansen (who is struggling in his own right at the moment) and lefty Scott Alexander. With that said, Madson hasn’t been good this year. He has a 5.28 ERA and a 1.42 WHIP in 49 appearances this season, and he has 41 strikeouts and 15 walks in 44.1 innings. He’s been inconsistent all year, but he’s been particularly bad in August, throwing for a 9.45 ERA with three homers allowed over 6.2 innings in August.
Madson, who is in the final season of a three-year deal, is making $7.6 million this season, so the Nationals save the small percentage of that salary (roughly $1.3 million) that is remaining.
Istler, a 23rd-round pick in 2015, had fantastic numbers this year at three different levels: a combined 2.37 ERA, 0.89 WHIP, .188 opponent batting average, 73 strikeouts, and 19 walks over 79.2 innings over 41 appearances (all but one of which came out of the bullpen) split between High-A Rancho Cucamonga, Double-A Tulsa, and Triple-A Oklahoma City. He wasn’t ranked among the Dodgers’ top 30 prospects by MLB Pipeline, but he figures to have a solid chance of making an impact out of the Nationals’ bullpen in the not-too-distant future.
Lefty reliever Adam Liberatore, who had posted solid numbers — a 2.77 ERA with a 1.39 WHIP in 13 innings — over a limited sample size this year, was designated for assignment to make room for Madson on the Dodgers’ 40-man roster.