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Nationals interested in reliever Eric O’Flaherty

Dec 5, 2013, 7:30 PM EDT


The Nationals are on the lookout for a left-handed reliever and Adam Kilgore of the Washington Post reports that former Braves reliever Eric O’Flaherty is their latest target.

O’Flaherty required Tommy John surgery on his left elbow this May and is expected to miss at least the first month of the 2014 season, but that hasn’t stopped six teams from expressing interest. The 28-year-old owns a fantastic 1.99 ERA dating back to 2009 and was in line for a big contract in free agency prior to surgery, so he could be an excellent buy-low opportunity. The thought is that he’ll sign a one-year deal in hopes of testing the market again next winter.

Kiglore hears that the Nationals’ search for a left-handed reliever has also led them to discussions with Boone Logan, Scott Downs, J.P. Howell and Oliver Perez.

  1. proudlycanadian - Dec 5, 2013 at 8:06 PM

    Just sign all of them!

    • chad10 - Dec 5, 2013 at 10:58 PM

      And let Rizzo sort ’em out!

  2. lphboston - Dec 6, 2013 at 8:37 AM

    Nats made a huge mistake last season believing stats that showed that their right-handed relievers were OK against left-handed hitters, and paid the price when the bullpen was torn to shreds. The error was compounded by Rizzo’s unwillingness to go out and get someone early. It may not have cost them the season, but it was a major factor.

    Looks like they’re not going to make that mistake again.

    • natstowngreg - Dec 6, 2013 at 9:37 AM

      A while back, someone asked us Nats fans, who was most responsible for their poor performance. [Well, at least through the first week of August; after that, the Nats were pretty good, but it was too late.] My response was, no one individual. April through July, the Nats underperformed in almost every area, including the bullpen.

      That said, a fair-minded fan can say that not providing LH relief was a mistake. So was not providing enough organizational SP depth, and overrating the bench. Rizzo didn’t want to overpay for LH relief which, IMHO, is one of the biggest market inefficiencies. And, as you noted, he believed his RH relievers could do the job. Clearly, Rizzo realizes that he needs to swallow hard and overpay one or more guys to fill that role.

      O’Flaherty, in particular, would be an interesting choice. Not so much because he’s recovering, but because the Nats couldn’t hit him. A case of a team acquiring a player who performed well against them.

      • snerdblurter - Dec 6, 2013 at 11:02 AM

        If you can’t beat him, sign him.

        Although at times it felt like it didnt even matter who was wearing the ATL laundry, anybody they put in after the 6th inning was gonna shut down the Nats lineup, no questions asked.

  3. bigdinla - Dec 6, 2013 at 1:20 PM

    Unless someone overpays him I hope he stays in Atlanta. Was really clutch last few seasons.

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