Jeff Passan of Yahoo! Sports reports that free agent reliever Rafael Soriano has agreed to a two-year, $28 million contract with the Washington Nationals.
As a result of the signing, the Nationals will have to surrender the team’s first round pick in the 2013 amateur draft, while the Yankees will receive a compensatory pick sandwiched between the first and second rounds.
Soriano was one of three remaining free agents with draft pick compensation attached. All three of them (Soriano, Kyle Lohse, Michael Bourn) are represented by agent Scott Boras.
Soriano, 33, finished 54 games for the Yankees in 2012 after taking over as the team’s closer on May 10. He went 2-1 with a 2.26 ERA, 1.17 WHIP and 69 strikeouts in 67 2/3 innings while collecting 42 saves. He joins a bullpen that already featured elite relievers such as closer Drew Storen and setup man Tyler Clippard.
According to Passan the two-year, $28 million deal also includes a $14 million option for 2015 that vests if Soriano has 120 games finished in 2013-2014, which would essentially require his being the Nationals’ full-time closer.
I think it’s safe to say that the two best bullpens in baseball are in the NL East; Atlanta Braves and the Washington Nationals.