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Nats acquire reliever Harper from Twins

@jessicacamerato
January 29, 2020

The Nationals and Twins swapped right-handers on Wednesday, with Washington sending Hunter McMahon to Minnesota in exchange for Ryne Harper. The 30-year-old Harper made his Major League debut last March after eight seasons in the Minors. Harper, who specializes in curveballs that he can throw at three speeds, made a

The Nationals and Twins swapped right-handers on Wednesday, with Washington sending Hunter McMahon to Minnesota in exchange for Ryne Harper.

The 30-year-old Harper made his Major League debut last March after eight seasons in the Minors. Harper, who specializes in curveballs that he can throw at three speeds, made a strong impression in Spring Training and earned a spot on the Twins’ Opening Day roster. He posted a 4-2 record with a 3.81 ERA and one save in 61 appearances out of the bullpen last season.

Harper compiled an 0.84 ERA in May and, even though he was the last addition to the bullpen, found himself in a high-leverage role with his ability to match up against left-handed batters. He improved on the mound by working on tunneling his curveballs and fastballs out of his hand.

Teams began to hit around against Harper late in the season, though, and he spent time in the Minor Leagues down the stretch. The Twins designated him for assignment on Friday. Harper was a 37th-round Draft pick by the Braves in 2011.

The Nationals selected McMahon in the ninth round of the 2019 Draft out of Texas State University. He pitched a total of nine games between Class A Short-Season Auburn and the Rookie-level GCL Nationals, going 2-1 with an 0.71 ERA over 12 2/3 innings. McMahon also posted a 5-5 record and 4.72 ERA in 17 appearances (14 starts) in his final season of college ball before being drafted.

Jessica Camerato covers the Nationals for MLB.com. Follow her on Twitter @jessicacamerato, Facebook and Instagram.