The Nationals' sell-off at the MLB trade deadline has started.
Washington has traded relief pitcher Brad Hand to the Toronto Blue Jays in exchange for catcher Riley Adams, the team confirmed on Thursday. Jesse Dougherty of the Washington Post was first to report the trade.
Hand, who Washington signed to a one-year deal this past winter, has served as the Nationals' closer for much of the season. He has appeared in 41 games for the Nationals and posted a 3.59 ERA. Hand has also recorded 21 saves for Washington this season but has also blown five save opportunities.
With the Nationals struggling mightily as of late, moving Hand prior to the deadline seemed likely. Toronto makes sense as the destination, as the Blue Jays made a push to sign the reliever this past offseason before he inked a deal with Washington.
In Adams, Washington receives a 25-year-old catcher who was the No. 17 ranked prospect in the Blue Jays' system. Adams made his Major League Baseball debut in June for Toronto but has had just 28 at-bats since. He has a career .262 batting average in the minors.