Right-handed reliever Shawn Kelley is being traded to the Athletics for international slot money, as ESPN’s Jerry Crasnick first reported Sunday afternoon and the team later confirmed:
#Athletics acquire RHP Shawn Kelley and cash from #Nationals in exchange for international slot money. To clear spot on 40-man roster, OF Jake Smolinski recalled from Triple-A Nashville and place on 60-day DL with a blood clot in left calf.— Oakland Athletics ⚾️ (@Athletics) August 5, 2018
Details: https://t.co/MeqXfgjPD4 pic.twitter.com/8qXPVqtvNq
Kelley, 34, was having a very good season with the Nationals, having posted a 3.34 ERA and a spectacular 0.96 WHIP with 32 strikeouts and just five walks over 32.1 innings. However, he caught the ire of GM Mike Rizzo during Tuesday’s 25-4 win over the Mets. Kelley spiked his glove after giving up a two-run homer to Austin Jackson in the ninth inning, and while the veteran reliever claimed it was out of frustration with the umpiring crew, Rizzo obviously believed it was because he was frustrated to be pitching in what was basically a meaningless inning. Kelley was designated for assignment the next day, with Rizzo telling reporters that his actions were “disrespectful to the name on the front of the jersey” and that “he was in the way,” as The Washington Post’s Chelsea Janes detailed Wednesday.
Kelley is another proven veteran in an Oakland bullpen that is already very good and should be a major weapon if the A’s hold on to make the playoffs. He joins dominant closer Blake Treinen, recently-acquired veteran Jeurys Familia, fireballing rookie Lou Trevino, and jack-of-all-trades Yusmeiro Petit, among others.