Shawn Kelley Traded to Athletics from Nationals for International Slot Money

Adam Wells@adamwells1985Featured ColumnistAugust 5, 2018

Washington Nationals relief pitcher Shawn Kelley (27) works in the eighth inning of a baseball game against the Atlanta Braves Monday, April 2, 2018, in Atlanta. Washington won 8-1. (AP Photo/John Bazemore)
John Bazemore/Associated Press

Looking to boost their pitching staff for the final two months of the season, the Oakland Athletics have acquired reliever Shawn Kelley.

On Sunday, Oakland announced the Washington Nationals agreed to send Kelley and cash to the A's in exchange for international slot money.

ESPN.com's Jerry Crasnick noted that Kelley made it through waivers before the A's and Nationals worked out a deal.

The move comes after Washington designated Kelley for assignment when he threw his glove to the ground after outfielder Austin Jackson hit a homer against him in the ninth inning of Tuesday's 25-4 win over the New York Mets.

"I thought the act that he portrayed on the field last night was disrespectful to the name on the front of the jersey, the organization, specifically [manager] Davey Martinez," Nationals general manager Mike Rizzo told MLB.com's Jamal Collier. "You're either in or you're in the way. And I thought he was in the way."

Oakland has been a pleasant surprise in the American League this season. The Athletics enter play Sunday with a 66-46 record, 2.5 games ahead of the Seattle Mariners for the second wild-card spot.

The A's Achilles' heel has been the starting rotation, which ranks 17th in MLB with a 4.25 ERA. Their bullpen has been an asset with Blake Treinen and Lou Trivino combining to allow 13 earned runs with 137 strikeouts and 65 hits allowed in 110.1 innings.

After posting a 7.27 ERA for the Nationals in 2017, Kelley has been solid this season. He has a 3.34 ERA and 32 strikeouts in 32.1 innings. One concern is right-handed hitters have slugged .556 against him, but Oakland Coliseum has been the best pitchers' park in MLB by home runs allowed per game (.697), per ESPN's Park Factors.