Coffey, or Big Pot as FP likes to call him, seems to have fans everywhere he goes. People love to watch him take the 12-13 second run to the mount in non-crucial game situations. To start the season, it looked like Coffey was one of the better bullpen pickups by Mike Rizzo to replace some of the middle relief talent that the Nats lost in the off season. He finished the first half with a 3-0 record, a 3.28 ERA, and hitters had a .239 BAA when facing him.
Since the Break, though, Coffey hasn't looked so awesome in his appearances. He's 0-1 with a 10.80 ERA and a .438 BAA versus the 20 batters he's faced. Now, during that period, he was put in more "critical" game situations than we're used to, but he certainly doesn't look like the same pitcher that he looked like before. His slider is less devastating; his fastball is not located quite as well.
This tells us two things in regards to the trade deadline, and it's something that we talk about regularly offline. Mike Rizzo waits too long to pull the trigger sometimes. If Coffey had been traded earlier, when his value was at it's highest, the Nats would probably have gotten better prospects in return than with the current Coffey that's shown he may not be able to succeed in big game situations.
In the same token, it tells the organization that maybe the Nats actually can't rely on Coffey except for mop up roles or when down by 10 runs. There's value in that position, but those types of relievers are a dime-a-dozen. Why not trade Coffey for whatever prospects they can get, and bring up any other reliever from the minors that can fill the same roll for a lot less money?
Who are the contenders?: Diamondbacks, Reds, Rangers
What's the return?: Unless something crazy happens, low to mid level (AA and below) talent, probably. It may be similar to a Guzman for Tatusko and Roark type deal.
So, CapBallers, would you trade the sprints from the 'pen for some minor league prospects? Let us know in the comments!