Nationals get Hudson from Jays in effort to improve bullpen

WASHINGTON — The Washington Nationals have acquired right-hander Daniel Hudson from the Toronto Blue Jays in an effort to improve their shaky bullpen.

Washington sent minor league right-hander Kyle Johnston to Toronto ahead of Wednesday’s trade deadline for Hudson, who will become a free agent at the end of the season.

The 32-year-old Hudson is 6-3 with a 3.00 ERA and two saves in 45 games for the Blue Jays. He has a 3.92 ERA in 355 games over nine major league seasons.

Washington’s bullpen has been a weak point on a team with a strong starting rotation led by Max Scherzer, Stephen Strasburg and Patrick Corbin. The Nationals signed Trevor Rosenthal in the off-season to become a setup man for closer Sean Doolittle but ended up releasing him because of persistent control issues. Rosenthal now pitches for the Detroit Tigers, with Washington still paying his $7 million salary.

The Nationals signed 42-year-old Fernando Rodney in June, and he has been getting work in the eighth inning. Last week, manager Dave Martinez used Rodney in three games in two days against the Colorado Rockies, with Rodney blowing a save and taking the loss in his third outing.

Washington trails the first-place Atlanta Braves by 6 1/2 games in the NL East and is in contention for an NL wild-card spot.

The 23-year-old Johnston is 9-9 with a 4.03 ERA in 20 starts for Class A Potomac.


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