Nats acquire lefty Rzepczynski from A's for infielder Schrock

Desperate for left-handed relief after Felipe Rivero was traded, Sammy Solis was injured and Oliver Perez was ineffective, the Nationals have acquired veteran Marc Rzepczynski from the Athletics for minor league infielder Max Schrock.

The trade also includes cash coming from the A's to the Nationals to cover some of the roughly $600,000 Rzepczynski is still owed this season.

Rzepczynski - his name is pronounced "zep-CHIN-skee" but he also goes by the nickname "Scrabble" - owns a 3.87 ERA and 1.406 WHIP in 405 career big league games with the Blue Jays, Cardinals, Indians, Padres and Athletics. The veteran lefty, who turns 31 on Monday, was a key member of St. Louis' World Series-winning bullpen in 2011, giving up one run and three hits in 7 1/3 innings during the National League Championship Series and Fall Classic.

Mike-Rizzo-Nationals.jpgThough his career numbers against left-handed batters (a .225 batting average and .596 OPS) are strong, Rzepczynski has reverse-split numbers this season, with lefties batting a robust .296 with a .755 OPS against him.

The Nationals couldn't afford to be overly picky when it came to adding another left-hander to their bullpen, though, because they've reached a point of desperation in the last few weeks. Rivero was dealt to the Pirates on July 30 for new closer Mark Melancon, Solis landed on the disabled list last week with inflammation in his shoulder and Perez has given up eight runs in 4 2/3 innings this month to raise his season ERA to 5.71.

The club also acquired veteran lefty Sean Burnett from the Twins last week, but he remains at Triple-A Syracuse, where he has appeared in three games so far.

Once Rzepczynski joins the Nationals, the club will need to drop someone from the 25-man roster to make room for him. They don't need to make a move to clear a spot on the 40-man roster, though, because Jonathan Papelbon's recent release left them with only 39 players.

As is the case with any trades made after Aug. 1, Rzepczynski had to first clear waivers before he could be dealt. Because he was acquired before Sept. 1, he'll be eligible to pitch in the postseason if the Nationals make it.

Schrock, a 13th-round pick in the 2015 draft, didn't rank high on organizational prospect rankings, but the infielder had quickly made a name for himself as a potent offensive force. Schrock hit at least .300 at all three Single-A levels of the Nationals' farm system, including .333 with an .834 OPS this season between Hagerstown and Potomac.

This is the 10th trade completed between the Nationals and A's since 2010. Gio Gonzalez, Kurt Suzuki and Yunel Escobar are among the players Mike Rizzo has acquired in deals with counterpart Billy Beane over the last six years.

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Nationals acquire left-hander Marc Rzepczynski

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