As the old saying goes, if you love someone, let him go, and if he returns, he was always yours.
That’s apparently been the Washington Nationals’ approach toward closer Mark Melancon, currently the San Francisco Giants’ bullpen ace.
The Nats traded for Melancon in July of last season. He then signed a 4-year, $62 million deal to join the Giants this offseason.
Now, with no anchor at the back of their bullpen, Washington — one of the best teams in the National League — is testing the trade market after using five different pitchers in save situations this season to varying results.
According to Jon Heyman of FanRag Sports, Melancon is one of several closers on the Nationals’ radar in a potential trade scenario. That, of course, doesn’t mean the Giants are inclined to deal their prized acquisition.
So, maybe it’s more of a “you don’t know what you’ve got until it’s gone” situation for Washington.
Heyman wrote that the Nationals “haven’t found anyone who’s immediately available.”
The Giants’ recent win streak could have a chilling effect on most early-season trade talks as the team is built to win now.
Some other options of good closers on struggling teams that the veteran reporter identified were David Robertson (Chicago White Sox), Roberto Osuna (Toronto Blue Jays), Kelvin Herrera (Kansas City Royals), Alex Colome (Tampa Bay Rays) and A.J. Ramos (Miami Marlins).