The Washington Nationals officially announced this afternoon that they signed veteran right-hander Casey Janssen to a one-year contract. The deal with the 33-year-old, eight-year veteran was widely reported last week. Janssen hit free agency after ten years in the Toronto Blue Jays' organization.
Working out of the Jays' bullpen in 2014, the 6'4'' righty saved 25 games and put up a 3.94 ERA, a 4.14 FIP, seven walks (1.38 BB/9) and 28 Ks (5.52 K/9) in 50 games and 45 ⅔ innings pitched, finishing the season at +0.1 fWAR.
Washington Post writer Barry Svrluga reported on the details of Janssen's deal with the Nats after it was announced last week:
Structure of Janssen deal, per source: $3.5M salary this year, plus $1.5M buyout of mutual option. So guarantee is $5M.— Barry Svrluga (@barrysvrluga) January 28, 2015
FOXSports.com's Ken Rosenthal added some details this morning before the Nationals made things official:
Janssen passed physical with #Nationals; deal now official. Includes $500K in performance bonuses that previously were unreported.— Ken Rosenthal (@Ken_Rosenthal) February 2, 2015
In announcing the deal today, Nationals' GM Mike Rizzo made the following statement on the signing in an official press release:
"We are happy to add Casey Janssen to our stable of relief arms," Rizzo said. "We’re excited about what he will bring to our bullpen – on the mound, as one of the most effective and consistent relievers the last several years, as well as in the clubhouse. He is a veteran guy who has a plethora of experience in late, high-leverage innings, and we’re thrilled to add him to our mix."
The Nationals parted ways with two members of their bullpen who worked the late innings in recent years with Rafael Soriano leaving via free agency, though he has yet to sign elsewhere, and Tyler Clippard going to the Oakland A's this winter in a trade for infielder Yunel Escobar.
In order to make room for Janssen on the Nats' 40-Man Roster, the Nationals designated right-hander Eric Fornataro for assignment. Fornataro, 27, was claimed off waivers from the St. Louis Cardinals this past November.
In a message on his official Twitter account this afternoon, Janssen thanked the Toronto fans for their support:
Thank you Toronto! pic.twitter.com/wsO6TbPJUv— Casey Janssen (@CaseyJanssen) February 2, 2015