According to an early morning report by the Yes Network's Jack Curry on Twitter, the Washington Nationals have signed 31-year-old, seven-year veteran reliever Shawn Kelley.
Kelley, who pitched for the San Diego Padres in 2015, after he was acquired from the New York Yankees in return for minor league pitcher Johnny Barbato last December, went (2-2) in 53 games and 51 ⅓ innings pitched, putting up a 2.45 ERA, a 2.57 FIP, 15 walks (2.63 BB/9), 63 Ks (11.05 K/9) and a .216/.273/.323 line against, finishing the year at 1.0 fWAR.
Hearing Shawn Kelley is headed to the Nationals.— Jack Curry (@JackCurryYES) December 8, 2015
The move is the second the Nationals have made to add to their bullpen this winter after they signed left-hander Oliver Perez to a two-year deal last week.
The Nationals also non-tendered Craig Stammen and the bullpen has lost veteran left-hander Matt Thornton and right-hander Casey Janssen to free agency.
"We've made a few veteran acquisitions -- Oliver Perez this season -- and we're still looking around," General Manager Mike Rizzo said in an MLB Network Radio interview on Monday afternoon.
"But we think that a bullpen that was sixth in the National League last year and at the end performed poorly, I think that can rebound."
"We like the bullpen that we have," Rizzo explained again when he met with reporters at the Winter Meetings in the Opryland Resort and Convention Center in Nashville, Tennessee.
"Last year we had the sixth best bullpen in the National League. It was better than league-average, it didn't end well for us. They pitched poorly down the stretch. But there [are] a lot of good, talented players in there."
Asked then if he'd spoken to other any other relievers after signing Perez or discussed any other deals for bullpen help, Rizzo declined to offer any specifics.
"I'll answer that by saying whatever way we can improve the ballclub, improve the bullpen specifically in your question, we'd certainly look into it."
Kelley, an '07 13th Round pick by the Seattle Mariners, was traded to New York in 2013, a year before he was sent to San Diego.
He's coming off what is statistically his best major league season, which saw the right-hander, who features a low 90s fastball (92.1 mph average) and slider (82.8 mph) post a career-best 42.7% Ground Ball Percentage, up from 33.6% in 2014 and 33.0% average in his career.
Over the course of his seven major league campaigns, Kelley has a 3.67 ERA, a 3.55 FIP, 97 walks (3.07 BB/9) and 323 Ks (10.22 K/9) with a .233/.313/.353 line against vs left-handers and a .233/.292/.419 line vs right-handers.
Thus far, Curry's report is the only one on the signing. There is no confirmation from the Nationals as of this morning...