With the Winter Meetings getting started today in San Diego, CA, the Washington Nationals announced a free agent signing this morning that adds an arm to the mix in the bullpen.
Mike Rizzo and Co. in the Nats’ front office signed Kyle Finnegan, 28, to a major league deal after the reliever, who was drafted by the Oakland A’s in the 6th round of the 2013 Draft, spent seven seasons in the Athletics’ minor league system, compiling a 4.03 ERA in 232 games (63 of them starts).
Finnegan has worked pretty much exclusively in relief since 2016, and he spent the 2019 season at Double and Triple-A in the A’s organization, putting up a 1.59 ERA and a 1.33 FIP, seven walks (2.78 BB/9), and 36 Ks (14.29 K/9) in 21 games and 22 2⁄3 innings pitched with Double-A Midland and a 2.89 ERA, 3.90 FIP, 12 walks (3.86 BB/9), and 36 Ks (11.57 K/9) in 21 games and 28 IP at Triple-A Las Vegas.
“Finnegan’s 14 saves led Oakland’s Minor League system,” the Nationals noted in a press release on today’s signing.
“He struck out 72 batters, walked 19 batters and surrendered just three home runs in 2019. Opposing batters hit just .210 (39-for-186) against him.”
The Nationals also highlighted the fact that, “... since the start of the 2018 season, Finnegan is 28-for-30 in save opportunities while posting a 3.49 ERA and 11.3 strikeouts per 9.0 innings (120 SO in 95.1 IP).”
Finnegan apparently hits triple digits with his fastball at times, and, “... [in] 2019, Finnegan thrived in the hitter haven that is Las Vegas, but didn’t get that final call to the majors with the A’s,” as The Athletic’s Grant Brisbee noted in an article on potential targets for the San Francisco Giants last month.
Finnegan became a free agent at the end of the 2019 campaign.
The addition, on a major league deal, leaves the Nationals with 30 players on the 40-Man roster as they continue building for the defense of their World Series crown.