With the MLB Trade Deadline quickly approaching, the most successful former Arizona Wildcat currently in the Major Leagues is on the move.
The third-place Pittsburgh Pirates have shipped closer Mark Melancon to the NL East-leading Washington Nationals.
So it's Melancon for Felipe Rivero and Taylor Hearn. Hearn a big minor league lefty. No Fedde, no Glover, no Lopez, and so on.— Chelsea Janes (@chelsea_janes) July 30, 2016
Melancon was named to the All-Star Game for the third time this summer. In 45 appearances this year, the 6-foot-2 righty has a 1.51 ERA and 30 saves.
Before joining the Pirates in 2013, Melancon was pretty shaky for the Yankees, Astros and Red Sox. He only posted an ERA under four one time from 2010-12.
But in his four years with the Pirates, he has an ERA of just 2.14 in 260 innings. At age 28, he had found his stride.
He is slated to become a free agent this offseason, and now that a draft pick won’t be tied to him, Melancon could really cash in. He’ll also remain a closer for the time being. The Nationals have told Jonathan Papelbon that Melancon will take over that 9th inning role when he joins them in San Francisco on Sunday.
If he’s able to keep being the consistent closer he’s been for the past four seasons, and makes a mark in the postseason, expect Melancon to become one of the highest-paid relievers in baseball.