Anyone still upset about the Jonathan Papelbon contract?
The Nationals on Tuesday agreed to a two-year, 28 million deal with free-agent closer Rafael Soriano, according to CSN Washington. It will likely cost the Nats the 29th pick in Junes draft.
Soriano, a Scott Boras client, signed with the Yankees two offseasons ago for three years and 35 million. He opted out of the final year of that three-year deal -- which was for 14 million in 2013 -- to re-test free agency this offseason.
Washington rewarded him, making the worth of Sorianos last two contracts a combined four years, 49 million.
In other words: the Papelbon deal.
Papelbon, who is a year younger, signed a four-year, 50 million pact with the Phillies last fall. That came after seven seasons in Boston where Papelbon pitched to a 2.33 ERA, had a 1.02 WHIP and struck out 10.7 batters per nine innings.
Soriano, 33, is coming off a stellar 2012 in which he replaced Mariano Rivera by pitching to a 2.26 ERA and saving 42 games with the Yankees. It wasnt the best year of Sorianos career ... that was 2010, when he had a 1.73 ERA and 45 saves for the Tampa Bay Rays.
Soriano is one of the games best late-inning relievers, theres no doubt. But he is statistically worse than Papelbon in every major category -- ERA, WHIP, K9, BB9, HR9.
Now, Soriano didnt make all of that money from one team, as Papelbon did from the Phillies. But if Soriano is worth a combined 49 million in two different markets, Papelbon is certainly worth a million more.
The Nats bullpen now features a trio of difficult righties in Soriano, Tyler Clippard and Drew Storen. The Nats did, however, lose lefty Sean Burnett to free agency.
The only two left-handed relievers with major-league experience on the Nats roster are Bill Bray and converted starter Zach Duke.
Bray has middling career numbers, but Ryan Howard is 0 for 13 off him with seven strikeouts. Few Phillies have seen much of Soriano, but Howard is 2 for 6 with a pair of homers.
E-mail Corey Seidman at email@example.com