WASHINGTON -- The Nationals traded reliever Shawn Kelley to the A's on Sunday evening, officially ending his three-year tenure with the team. Washington announced the move following Sunday's 2-1 victory over the Reds. In exchange for Kelley, the Nats received international slot money and cash considerations from Oakland.The move comes
WASHINGTON -- The Nationals traded reliever Shawn Kelley to the A's on Sunday evening, officially ending his three-year tenure with the team. Washington announced the move following Sunday's 2-1 victory over the Reds. In exchange for Kelley, the Nats received international slot money and cash considerations from Oakland.
The move comes five days after Kelley's tenure in D.C. unofficially ended once he threw his glove down on the mound and glared into the dugout in frustration in the ninth inning of a 25-4 blowout win on Tuesday, a move the Nationals interpreted as disrespectful to his manager. The next day, the Nats designated Kelley for assignment, for what general manager Mike Rizzo called a selfish act. Kelley has refuted that assertion, citing the fact that he has never shown up a manager in his 10-year career or refused to pitch in any situation this season.
"I hate the narrative [of] being selfish or showing up the manager, because I've spent 10 years in this league and the only thing I've really ever cared about, when I leave this game, is people knowing that I cared and I was humble, selfless, and I was a good person and good to everybody and treated everybody fairly," Kelley told MLB.com in a phone interview Wednesday. "That's kind of what I'm about and who I am as a person. So it hurts a little bit today reading some of the taglines and some of the comments that are out there."
Kelley signed a three-year, $15 million contract as a free agent before the 2016 season, and his tenure with the club was up and down. He was stellar in '16 as a setup man before injuries and home runs derailed his '17 season and the start of this year. Kelley had overcome some early-season struggles and injuries and was putting together a strong season -- in 35 appearances, he posted a 3.34 ERA with 32 strikeouts and five walks and a 0.959 WHIP, while opposing batters hit .215 against him.
To help replace Kelley, the team has reportedly agreed to a deal with Greg Holland. Overall in his Nationals career, Kelley pitched in 135 games, the most of any team in his Major League career, and posted a 3.87 ERA with a 1.057 WHIP and 10.6 strikeouts per nine innings. But the Nationals felt they could not move forward with Kelley this season following the glove-throwing incident.
"You're either in or you're in the way. And I thought he was in the way," Rizzo stated plainly Wednesday.
Jamal Collier has covered the Nationals for MLB.com since 2016. Follow him on Twitter at @jamalcollier.