Pitching for the third time in as many days on Tuesday, Hand locked down his 21st save of the season in a 6-4 victory over the Phillies. That came after the three-time All-Star had recorded a blown save and allowed back-to-back walk-offs on Sunday and Monday.
Overall, Hand posted a 3.59 ERA in 41 appearances for the Nationals after signing a one-year, $10.5 million deal this offseason. The 31-year-old lefty had a 2.54 ERA in his first 37 appearances before hitting that rough patch over the last week.
“I’ve got all the trust in the world in him, I really do,” manager Dave Martinez said after Tuesday’s save. “A couple of blown saves isn’t going to change how I feel about him.”
As for the Nationals' return in the deal, Adams was ranked the No. 17 prospect in the Blue Jays' system. The 25-year-old catcher had a .239/.371/.487 slash line with seven homers in 35 games for Triple-A Buffalo this season. Adams made his MLB debut on June 8, going 3-for-28 (.107) across 12 games with the Blue Jays.
The decision to part with their closer on the eve of the Trade Deadline is the first official indication that the Nats (46-54) are entertaining offers for potential trade candidates. They entered Thursday’s doubleheader eight games back of the first-place Mets in the National League East -- and 11 games back of the final NL Wild Card spot.