Nats finalize Shawn Kelley move with trade to A's

Brian Tinsman
August 05, 2018 - 11:13 pm

Tommy Gilligan-USA TODAY Sports


When it seems like the Washington Nationals were happy to part with Shawn Kelley for nothing, it becomes a positive that they got something in return for the accomplished reliever.

The bizarre saga, which started during the Nats' blowout win over the New York Mets following the non-waiver trade deadline, was completed this weekend when the Nats finalized a deal that will send Kelley to the Oakland Athletics in exchange for international bonus slot value.

ALSO READ: Shawn Kelley Doesn't Know Why He Was DFA'd

The Nats will also be sending money to the A's to help offset his salary through the end of the season.

This was the play that caught everyone off guard:

In an interview with 106.7 The Fan's Grant and Danny, Kelley claims that he was frustrated that two umpires were simultaneously barking at him to speed things up and slow down his cadence on the mound. The situation got in his head and led to the home run. He was hoping for intervention from the dugout but felt isolated on the mound and slammed his glove in frustration.

The team's front office saw it in a far more sinister light, accusing the veteran of showing up his embattled manager, Dave Martinez.

"I thought that the act that he portrayed on the field last night was disrespectful to the name on the front of the jersey, the organization, specifically Davey Martinez," Rizzo said the next day. "You're either in or you're in the way. I thought he was in the way."

For the record, Martinez told the media he didn't feel like the move was intended to show him up, but by then, Kelley was already gone.

Perhaps it softens the blow that Kelley expected to be traded last week, considering that trade deadline, the team's position in the playoff picture, his diminished role in the bullpen and his contract expiring at the end of the season. 

ALSO READ: "You're Either In, or You're In the Way"

"I assumed that I would probably be traded at some point, just because the role I was pitching in, I wasn't pitching in high-leverage situations," Kelley told 106.7 The Fan. "If I could be more use to another team or help free up some salary or whatever or get something in return. I kind of expected to be traded around the trade deadline. It just happened a few hours after the trade deadline."

The move also launches him nine games ahead in the standings, with an opportunity to pitch for an A's squad that would be playoff-bound if the season ended today.

In a trade deadline where the team refused to sell, the Nats traded two useful members of the bullpen (Kelley and teammate Brandon Kintzler, traded for a single-A pitcher) for pieces that have no chance of helping the team any time soon.


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