The Washington Nationals have acquired closer, Mark Melancon from the Pittsburgh Pirates in exchange for Felipe Rivero and Taylor Hearn. This move bolsters the bullpen for the Nationals, as they acquire a proven closer who will take over for the struggling Jonathan Papelbon. For the Pirates, they trade away their closer in what seems to be to a peculiar trade for them given that they are just three games out of the second wild card spot.
Melancon is 31 years old and owed the remaining portion of his 9.6 million dollar salary and will become a free agent at the end of the season. He is currently 1-1 with a 1.51 ERA and 0.96 WHIP in 41.2 innings for the Pirates, including 30 saves which is good for fifth in the MLB. He replaces Jonathan Papelbon, who is 2-4 with a 4.41 ERA in 32.2 and is also set to be a free agent.
The Pirates will be receiving southpaw, Felipe Rivero who is 25 years old and comes with five years of team control. He is in his second season and has a 4.53 ERA in 49.2 innings for the Nationals. The other piece of the trade is lefty Taylor Hearn who was drafted in the fifth round in the 2015 MLB draft and is currently in Single-A, boasting a 3.18 ERA and 31 strikeouts in 22.2 innings pitched.
Overall a solid trade for both teams as the Pirates receive two power arms with team control while giving up Melancon, who can comeback via free agency. The Nationals counter the Cubs trade for Chapman by acquiring a premier closer of their own while not giving up any of their top prospects that were rumored in other trades.