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In the midst of all the dramatics, the 2015 Washington Nationals bullpen produced something worthy of optimism: Felipe Rivero.

Credit it to luck, instinct or great scouting – the tale of how the Nats acquired Rivero represents arguably the most recent feather in General Manager Mike Rizzo’s cap.

At first appearance, the deal that brought the southpaw to Washington could only be described scientifically as “meh.” In the trade, Washington sent right-hander Nate Karns to Tampa Bay in exchange for Jose Lobaton and two minor leaguers. But, those who follow Baseball America rankings recognized the potential steal as soon as word got out that Rivero was part of the package. In gaining Rivero along with outfielder Drew Vettleson, the Nats welcomed Tampa Bay’s 17th and 20th best prospects, respectively.  

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