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The Nationals did not have a spot in the lineup for Mike Morse after trading for Denard Span and re-signing Adam LaRoche.
After keeping LaRoche in a two-year deal, it was obvious the Nationals were going to trade Morse for the best deal that they could.
What they got in return was a pitcher who had already worked in their minor league system and $6.75 million off the payroll.
A.J. Cole is a strikeout artist. He averaged 10.2 strikeouts per nine innings in his 37 starts in A ball. He also possessed pretty good control, walking just 43 in 184.2 innings.
When Oakland started Cole at their Advanced-A level in Stockton, however, things did not go as well.
Batters started connecting with his pitches and he lost seven of his eight starts. In just 38 innings, he gave up 60 hits and saw his ERA balloon to 7.82.
A shift back down saw his numbers go right back to great.
Blake Treinen is making the adjustment from a reliever to a starter in the Oakland system—also finishing the season at Advanced-A Stockton.
Treinen also possesses good control, striking out four batters for every one that he walks. Splitting the season between the rotation and the bullpen, Treinen went 7-7.
The devil will be in the details of that player to be named later.
While the Nationals did dump some salary and get two decent prospects, they do not get anything short-term here at all.