NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — The Washington Nationals are reportedly willing to part ways with top pitching prospect Lucas Giolito in exchange for Yankees closer Andrew Miller.
According to the MLB Network’s Jon Paul Morosi, sources who have spoken to the Nationals say Washington would make the trade straight up.
WFAN insider Jon Heyman, however, reported the Yankees would not agree to that deal.
The Nationals are in the market for a closer after a rough week by Jonathan Papelbon, who in his last three outings has retired just three batters while allowing eight runs (seven earned). Since Saturday, his ERA has ballooned from 2.56 to 4.41, and on Tuesday, he was tagged with the loss after squandering a 6-5, ninth-inning lead against Cleveland.
Giolito was ranked by Baseball America as the second-best pitching prospect entering the season, behind only the Dodgers’ Julio Urias. In the latest MLB.com rankings, Giolito is the No. 4 overall prospect, first among pitchers.
The 16th overall pick in the 2012 draft, Giolito made his major league debut June 28 against the Mets. In three starts, he is 0-0 with a 4.91 ERA.
As Monday’s non-waiver trade deadline approaches, the Yankees have been torn between selling and standing pat. They dealt closer Aroldis Chapman to the Cubs on Monday for prospects Gleyber Torres, Billy McKinney and Rashad Crawford and reliever Adam Warren. New York, however, has won eight of its last 11 games and sits just 3 1/2 games out of the second wild card spot. Dealing Miller would be viewed as the Yankees waving the white flag on the season.
Miller, who reclaimed closing duties from Chapman this week, is 6-1 with a 1.39 ERA and nine saves this year. Last season, he had 36 saves and was voted AL Reliever of the Year.
Miller’s contract has been attractive to interested teams, but also a reason the Yankees have been more reluctant to move him than they were with Chapman, who will become a free agent after the season. Miller is locked up through 2018 at $9 million per year.