Ex-Yankee Closer Rafael Soriano Signs Two-Year Deal with Nationals
The Washington Nationals have bolstered their bullpen, signing closer Rafael Soriano to a two-year, $28 million deal, pending a physical.
Sources said the contract includes a $14 million option for 2015 if Soriano finishes 120 games over the next two years.
By signing Soriano, the Nationals forfeited the 29th overall pick in the 2013 First-Year Player Draft as the New York Yankees made a $13.3 million qualifying offer to the closer that he declined.
The 33-year-old Soriano posted a 2.26 ERA and saved 42 games for the Yankees after Mariano Rivera suffered a season-ending injury.
In 11 seasons with the Seattle Mariners, Atlanta Braves, Tampa Bay Rays and Yankees Soriano has a 2.78 career ERA.
The Nationals signed Soriano to provide stability and experience to their bullpen that imploded during the National League Division Series, allowing 16 earned runs against the St. Louis Cardinals.
In the ninth inning of Game 5, Washington blew a 7-5 lead after Drew Storen allowed four runs for a 9-7 loss.
With Soriano on board, the Nationals most likely will trade Tyler Clippard or Storen, who missed half of the 2012 season because of bone chips in his right elbow.
Storen returned to action after the All-Star break but didn't reclaim his role as the closer until September, when Clippard slumped.
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