The Washington Nationals announced the addition of two more relievers today, inking veteran relievers Joe Nathan and Matt Albers to minor league deals with invitations to Spring Training.
Nathan, who turned 42 in November, has saved 377 games over the course of his 16-year career, but the veteran right-hander has made just 11 appearances total over the last two seasons after he underwent Tommy John surgery in 2015.
joe nathan gets $1.25m on nats minors deal. gives them another closing option.— Jon Heyman (@JonHeyman) January 31, 2017
if Nathan hits his incentives, he could go north of $3M. #nats— Jon Heyman (@JonHeyman) January 31, 2017
In his last full season in the majors, Nathan saved 35 games for the Detroit Tigers in 2014, putting up a 4.81 ERA, a 3.94 FIP, 29 walks (4.50 BB/9) and 54 Ks (8.38 K/9) over 58 innings in a 0.1 fWAR campaign, which followed 1.7 and 2.3 fWAR seasons in 2012 and 2013 with the Rangers, working with current Nats’ bullpen coach Mike Maddux in Texas.
Albers, 34, spent the last two seasons with the Chicago White Sox, putting up a 1.21 ERA, a 3.48 FIP, nine walks (2.17 BB/9) and 28 Ks (6.75 K/9) in 37 1⁄3 innings pitched in 2015 and a 6.31 ERA, 5.80 FIP, 19 walks (3.33 BB/9) and 30 Ks (5.26 K/9) in 51 1⁄3 innings pitched last season.
Will either of the two make a significant impact in the Nationals’ bullpen in 2017? Will they just give the Nats some veteran options in case any of the major league relievers deal with injuries?