Nationals closer Brad Hand traded to Blue Jays
Washington Nationals relief pitcher Brad Hand (52) throws against the Philadelphia Phillies during the ninth inning at Citizens Bank Park.  Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports

Washington Nationals closer Brad Hand is being traded to the Toronto Blue Jays, signaling the Nationals will be sellers at the MLB trade deadline.

The Washington Post‘s Jesse Dougherty first reported the trade, which sends Washington’s top reliever to Toronto before Max Scherzer takes the mound in what might be his final start for the franchise.

In exchange for the 31-year-old reliever, Washington will receive Blue Jays catching prospect Riley Adams. The 25-year-old is slashing .239/.371/.487 this season for Toronto’s Triple-A affiliate with 17 RBI and 20 runs scored in 35 games.

Hand, owed less than half of his remaining $10.5 million salary, could function as the Blue Jays’ closer. Jordan Romano has held down the role as of late, converting 8-of-9 save opportunities with a 2.29 ERA.

  • Brad Hand stats (2021):  3.59 ERA, 8.86 K/9, .195 BAA, 1.15 WHIP, 21 saves in 42.2 IP

With the trade deadline set for Friday, the Blue Jays likely aren’t done adding. Several games out in the race for an AL Wild Card spot, Toronto will turn its focus towards strengthening its rotation and potentially adding another bat.

This article first appeared on Sportsnaut and was syndicated with permission.

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