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Reports: Nationals sign Rafael Soriano

New York Yankees relief pitcher Rafael Soriano celebrates

New York Yankees relief pitcher Rafael Soriano celebrates after getting the save in a 4-2 win over the Cleveland Indians. (August 26, 2012) Credit: AP

The Nationals have added to their bounty in the bullpen.

Free agent reliever Rafael Soriano, who took over the closer's role for the Yankees last season after an injury to Mariano Rivera, has signed a two-year, $28 million deal with Washington, according to multiple reports. The deal includes a $14 million option for 2015 that vests if Soriano finishes 120 games during the next two seasons.

Soriano has 132 career saves and has served as a closer for the Braves, Rays and Yankees. He saved an AL-best 45 games with Tampa Bay in 2010. He has a 2.59 ERA since he converted to relief pitching in 2003.

The Nationals already had a stocked bullpen before signing Soriano. Incumbent closer Drew Storen has a 2.96 career ERA and 52 saves during the last three seasons. He was partially derailed by injury in 2012, but saved 43 games in 2011. Ex-Yankee Tyler Clippard has developed into one of the top setup men in the game and saved 32 games last season in Storen's absence.

There hasn't been any indication if Soriano will inherit the closer's mantle or simply fortify the bullpen.

Soriano, who signed a three-year, $35 million contract with the Yankees before the 2011 season, opted out of the final year of the deal after his superb 2012. The Yankees extended Soriano a qualifying offer, which he rejected, which means the Yankees will receive a compensatory draft pick for him signing with Washington.


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