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MLB Trade Rumors: Nationals now showing ‘strong interest’ in AJ Ramos

The Nats join the Rockies and Cubs as teams with strong interest in the Miami closer.

MLB: Miami Marlins at Cincinnati Reds David Kohl-USA TODAY Sports

The Washington Nationals are now among the teams showing “strong interest” in Marlins closer AJ Ramos, according to USA Today’s Bob Nightengale.

The Nationals join the Cubs and Rockies, who were both named in an in earlier report, which said that the Marlins were “actively shopping” Ramos. The Diamondbacks, Rays and Red Sox have also all been linked to the 30-year-old reliever.

The Nationals may be the most interesting pairing because they already made the biggest bullpen deal of the season in acquiring Sean Doolittle and Ryan Madson from the Athletics.

However, Washington’s bullpen struggles have been well-documented, and it should come as no surprise that they would be looking for more help. The Nationals’ 5.18 bullpen ERA is the worst in the league and its .275 BAA ranks 29th.

Sine the trade with the A’s, Doolittle has become Washington’s closer, but the addition of Ramos could put the current Marlin in the ninth-inning role. Despite the lefty having a better strikeout and walk rate than Ramos, Doolittle has walked three batters and allowed two runs in three innings with the Nationals since the trade.

While Ramos could be a closer for Dusty Baker’s team, he would be in a set-up role with most other teams, including the Cubs and Rockies. Both Wade Davis (Cubs) and Greg Holland (Rockies) have regained form after injuries and again become dominant closers.

The Marlins have already gotten a very good return for David Phelps, and the return on Ramos could be even higher.

Miami could expect two of a team’s top-10 prospects and possibly a few other low-upside arms if they want to (and need to) improve the farm system’s depth. The Nationals, Rockies and Cubs have farm systems that are usually ranked between 11th and 20th in baseball across all rankings. All three teams will have the prospects to make the deal and see Ramos as an important part of a deep postseason run.