Opposite dugout: A's headed toward second straight last-place finish

Opposite dugout: A's headed toward second straight last-place finish
Manager: Bob Melvin (6th season) Record: 48-63 Last 10 games: 2-8 Who to watch: 3B Danny Valencia (.293 with 92 hits), LF Khris Davis (27 HR, 69 RBIs), SS Marcus Semien (23 HR, 54 RBIs), LHP Rich Hill (9-3, 2.25 ERA), RHP Ryan Madson (3.74 ERA with 22 saves) Season series vs. Orioles: 1-2 Pitching probables: August 8: RHP Kevin Gausman vs. RHP Kendall Graveman, 10:05 p.m., MASNAugust 9: LHP Wade Miley vs. RHP Zach Neal, 10:05 p.m., MASN2August 10: RHP Yovani Gallardo vs. TBD, 10:05 p.m.,...
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Opposite dugout: A's hit Baltimore on four-game skid

Opposite dugout: A's hit Baltimore on four-game skid
Manager: Bob Melvin (6th season) Record: 13-16 Last 10 games: 3-7 Who to watch: CF Billy Burns (.271, 8 SB), RF Josh Reddick (4 HR, 12 RBIs), LF Khris Davis (6 HR, 14 RBIs), SS Marcus Semien (7 HR), LHP Rich Hill (3-3, 2.53 ERA), RHP Ryan Madson (8 saves, 1.32 ERA) Season series vs. Orioles: First meeting (1-6 in 2015) Pitching probables: May 6: LHP Rich Hill vs. RHP Ubaldo Jimenez, 7:05 p.m., MASN May 7: RHP Jesse Hahn vs. RHP Mike Wright, 7:05 p.m., MASN2 May 8: RHP Kendall Graveman vs. RHP...
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Opposite dugout: Not completely out of playoff race, Athletics need consistency to make late push

Opposite dugout: Not completely out of playoff race, Athletics need consistency to make late push
Manager: Bob Melvin (5th season) Record: 47-59 Last 10 games: 3-7 Who to watch: RF Josh Reddick (.283/.334/.459 with 13 HR, 58 RBIs), C Stephen Vogt (.262/.343/.443 with 14 HR, 58 RBIs), CF Billy Burns (.298/.336/.385 with 19 RBIs), 3B Brett Lawrie (.275 with 42 RBIs), RHP Jesse Chavez (3.53 ERA in 114 2/3 IP) Season series vs. Orioles: First meeting (4-2 in 2014) Pitching probables: Aug. 3: RHP Tyler Wilson vs. RHP Jesse Chavez, 10:05 p.m., MASN2 Aug. 4: RHP Miguel Gonzalez vs. RHP Chris...
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Could the Nationals work with Oakland again to get Tyler Clippard back to D.C.?

Could the Nationals work with Oakland again to get Tyler Clippard back to D.C.?
The Nationals bullpen has struggled to find its locked in 7-8-9 responsibilities as the season enters its third month. Drew Storen has been the closer and done a very good job, notching 19 saves. Casey Janssen was pegged as the eighth-inning setup man after the Nationals traded fan-favorite Tyler Clippard to the A's for infielder Yunel Escobar. But Janssen is more of a finesse guy, and teams love to have a guy in the second-to-last inning who can bring the heat and have a devastating breaking...
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Williams on Grace's move to Syracuse and what to do late in games

Williams on Grace's move to Syracuse and what to do late in games
The Nationals recalled left-hander Felipe Rivero on Monday and optioned left-hander Matt Grace to Triple-A Syracuse. Manager Matt Williams said Grace needs to work on keeping the ball down. The Reds scored four runs versus Grace on Sunday in an 8-2 win over the Nationals. "We want him to just be down in the strike zone," Williams said. "He's gotten hurt by that ball being up. That's not his game. His game is to sink the ball down and create grounders. In recent outings, that hasn't...
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Opposite dugout: Major league-leading A's give O's plenty to handle coming out of break

Opposite dugout: Major league-leading A's give O's plenty to handle coming out of break
Manager: Bob Melvin, fourth year Record: 59-36 Last 10 games: 7-3 Who to watch: 1B Brandon Moss (.268/.349/.530, 17 doubles, 21 HR, 66 RBIs); 3B Josh Donaldson (.238/.317/.449, 20 HR, 65 RBIs, 61 R); RHP Jeff Samardzija (3-8, 2.78 ERA, 1.14 WHIP); RHP Sonny Gray (10-3, 2.79 ERA, 1.19 WHIP) Season series vs. O's: 2-1, 18 runs scored, 10 runs allowed Pitching probables July 18: Jeff Samardzija vs. Chris Tillman, 10 p.m., MASN2 HD July 19: Jason Hammel vs. Wei-Yin Chen, 9 p.m., MASN2 HD July 20:...
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Opposite dugout: AL-leading A's bring ace pitching staff, productive lineup to Baltimore

Opposite dugout: AL-leading A's bring ace pitching staff, productive lineup to Baltimore
Manager: Bob Melvin, fourth year Record: 37-24 Last 10 games: 7-3 Who to watch: 1B Brandon Moss (.284/.372/.589, 15 HR, 49 RBIs); 3B Josh Donaldson (.280/.369/.542, 16 HR, 49 RBIs); RHP Sonny Gray (6-1, 2.45 ERA, 1.15 WHIP); LHP Scott Kazmir (6-2, 2.40 ERA, 0.99 WHIP) Season series vs. O's (2013): 2-5, 26 runs scored, 48 runs allowed Pitching probables June 6: Tommy Milone vs. Wei-Yin Chen, 7 p.m., MASN HD June 7: Sonny Gray vs. Kevin Gausman, 7 p.m., FOX June 8: Scott Kazmir vs. Ubaldo...
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Opposite dugout: Athletics host Nats in meeting of top pitching staffs

Opposite dugout: Athletics host Nats in meeting of top pitching staffs
Manager: Bob Melvin, fourth year Record: 20-15 Last 10 games: 5-5 Who to watch: LF Yoenis Cespedes (.259/.344/.518, 6 HR, 9 doubles, 20 RBIs); 3B Josh Donaldson (.262/.341/.476, 7 HR, 10 doubles, 24 RBIs); RHP Sonny Gray (4-1, 1.91 ERA, 40 K); LHP Scott Kazmir (4-1, 2.64 ERA, 1.04 WHIP) Season series vs. Nats (2013): Did not play Pitching probables May 9: Tommy Milone vs. Doug Fister, 10 p.m., MASN2 HD May 10: Sonny Gray vs. Tanner Roark, 9 p.m., MASN2 HD May 11: Scott Kazmir vs. Gio Gonzalez,...
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On Brown and the Rizzo/Beane dynamic (plus housekeeping note)

On Brown and the Rizzo/Beane dynamic (plus housekeeping note)
Before I kick off my morning blog post, I've got a quick housekeeping note to pass along. I'm leaving the country later today for a 10-day trip to Europe, and will not be writing/tweeting/monitoring MLBTradeRumors during that time. I'm excited to say that I'm stepping away from the laptop for a week and a half, and will be enjoying my first European journey. (For anyone who cares, I'll be hitting France, the Netherlands, Germany and Belgium during this trip. Should be fun.) My...
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Nats trade Corey Brown to Athletics for cash considerations (updated)

Nats trade Corey Brown to Athletics for cash considerations (updated)
Mike Rizzo and Billy Beane are at it again. The Nationals have traded outfielder Corey Brown to the Athletics, a source confirmed this afternoon, marking the seventh trade between the two organizations in the last two years and the eighth deal between them in three years. No word yet on what the Nats will receive in return for Brown, who was designated for assignment last week to make room for newly signed outfielder Nate McLouth on the Nationals' 40-man roster. Brown is out of options, so...
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Nats trade Abad to Athletics for minor leaguer Wooten (Robertson outrighted)

Nats trade Abad to Athletics for minor leaguer Wooten (Robertson outrighted)
The Nationals and Athletics have collaborated on a trade yet again. This time, the Nats are sending left-handed reliever Fernando Abad to Oakland for minor league outfielder John Wooten, a source confirms. MLB Network's Peter Gammons was first to report the trade. Abad was designated for assignment by the Nationals last week, giving the team 10 days to trade or release Abad, or assign him to the minor leagues if he cleared waivers. By sending Abad to the A's, the Nats got back Wooten, a...
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Looking back on a wacky week (Suzuki trade official)

Looking back on a wacky week (Suzuki trade official)
The Kurt Suzuki trade is now official. The Nationals announce they've sent Suzuki to the Athletics for right-handed pitching prospect Dakota Bacus, who will report to low Single-A Hagerstown. Jhonatan Solano will join the Nats in Kansas City and become the new backup catcher to Wilson Ramos. What a wacky road trip this has already been for the Nationals. Three rain delays in seven days, including one that lasted a full two hours yesterday. Two games in a span of six days that lasted at...
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Nats send Kurt Suzuki back to Athletics (Nats get pitching prospect)

Nats send Kurt Suzuki back to Athletics (Nats get pitching prospect)
A little over a year ago, the Nationals acquired catcher Kurt Suzuki in a trade with the Athletics. Now, Suzuki is heading back to Oakland. The Nats have traded Suzuki to the A's, a team source confirmed late tonight, a deal that sends the 29-year-old catcher back to the team that drafted him and the only other team he's known. It's unknown at this time what the Nationals will be acquiring in return. The Washington Times first reported the Suzuki deal. Since the July 31 non-waiver trade...
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Suzuki getting comfortable, excited about new challenge with Nationals

Suzuki getting comfortable, excited about new challenge with Nationals
Nationals catcher Kurt Suzuki started his Sunday morning with a stroll through the clubhouse. Wearing a Nationals workout shirt and athletic long shorts with two white batting gloves, he was ready for work. Suzuki headed to the indoor batting cage for a session with Nationals hitting coach Rick Eckstein. Although Suzuki admitted he is not quite where he wants to be at the plate (.215), he believes he is making progress. "I feel good," Suzuki told me on 106.7 The Fan's "Nats Insider". "I...
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Gonzalez endures shortest outing of season, "felt a little flat"

Gonzalez endures shortest outing of season, "felt a little flat"
That was a rare experience to see Gio Gonzalez not get to the fifth inning in a start for the Nationals. Coming into Thursday's assignment against the Mets, Gonzalez had gone at least five frames in 16 of his initial 18 starts in a Nationals uniform. There was June 3 when he lasted only 4 2/3 innings in a loss against the Braves. You had to go back to the opening week and his Nationals debut to see a shorter stint, just 3 2/3 innings in a no-decision April 7 at the Cubs. But Gonzalez lasted...
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Former Nationals hurler Milone right at home in California

Former Nationals hurler Milone right at home in California
Continuing to display the promise demonstrated in his Nationals late-season introduction, left-hander Tommy Milone is off to a great start with the Oakland Athletics. Through nine starts, the former Nationals hurler has gone 6-3 with a 3.75 ERA, recording 32 strikeouts to lead the Athletics. The southpaw has adjusted well, returning to his home state in a trade with pitchers Brad Peacock and A.J. Cole, and catcher Derek Norris, during the offseason. The Nationals received pitchers Gio...
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Norris ready for "new opportunity" with the Oakland A's

Norris ready for "new opportunity" with the Oakland A's
Catcher Derek Norris, one of the four top prospects traded last week and considered one of the highest-rated backstops not yet in the majors, believes he can contribute right now with his new team, the Oakland Athletics. Norris has been the prized possession of the Nationals' revamped minor league system, and each season has continued to develop his defense. Norris has jumped from Single-A Potomac Nationals to the Double-A Harrisburg Senators, working on his ability to call games and his...
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41st-round pick Peacock thankful Nationals "treated me like a first-rounder"

41st-round pick Peacock thankful Nationals "treated me like a first-rounder"
Right-hander Brad Peacock is excited about the new challenge of pitching in the American League with the Oakland A's and is very thankful for his time and experience with the Nationals. The trade was made official Friday. Gio Gonzalez and one minor league pitcher Robert Gilliam were acquired by the Nationals in exchange for Peacock, Tom Milone, Derek Norris and A.J. Cole. "I was surprised," Peacock said. "(But) it is definitely a good thing. I know the Nationals wouldn't steer me wrong....
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After Gonzalez trade, what's left in Nationals' system?

After Gonzalez trade, what's left in Nationals' system?
The announcement of the blockbuster trade drew a few gasps at the prospects the Nationals gave up to get left-hander Gio Gonzalez from the Oakland A's. Those prospects represented among the top players in the franchise's coveted minor league system, according to Baseball America. Specifically, Brad Peacock (No. 3), A.J. Cole (No. 4), Derek Norris (No. 9) and Tom Milone (No.16 in 2010) were considered among the best the Nationals had to offer. This deal was pretty much the package the...
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Willingham on new opportunity: "I'm excited"

Willingham on new opportunity: "I'm excited"
The Nationals took another step with the trade of popular outfielder Josh Willingham to the Oakland Athletics for right-hander Henry Rodriguez and outfielder Corey Brown. Willingham confirmed the trade and is excited about his new opportunity but also is appreciative of his time with the Nationals. As for his new team, Willingham says the Athletics are going in the right direction and have talent in the outfield. "Oakland has got a .500 baseball club and already has some good outfielders...
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