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New York Yankees relief pitcher Rafael Soriano

Kathy Willens, Associated Press - Ap

Source: Nationals, Soriano agree on $28 million deal

  • Article by: HOWARD FENDRICH
  • Associated Press
  • January 16, 2013 - 7:21 AM

WASHINGTON - Reliever Rafael Soriano and the Washington Nationals reached agreement pending a physical on a $28 million, two-year contract that includes $14 million in deferred money, a person familiar with the negotiations told The Associated Press on Tuesday.

Speaking to the AP on condition of anonymity because the deal was not yet official, the person said Soriano's contract contains a $14 million option for 2015 that would become guaranteed if he reaches 120 games finished over 2013 and 2014 combined.

Soriano, who turned 33 in December, would join a Nationals bullpen that already includes Drew Storen and Tyler Clippard. Both of those right-handers closed games for the NL East champions last season.

The Soriano-Nationals negotiations were first reported by Yahoo Sports.

A one-time All-Star, Soriano had 42 saves and a 2.26 ERA for the AL East champion New York Yankees last year while filling in for injured closer Mariano Rivera, who plans to return from a knee injury in 2013.

Soriano decided in October to decline a $14 million option for 2013, taking a $1.5 million buyout from the Yankees and entering free agency instead.

Washington will lose its first-round draft pick in this year's amateur draft, while the Yankees will gain an extra pick after the first round as compensation for losing Soriano.

The righty signed his old contract with the Yankees after saving a career-high 45 games for Tampa Bay in 2010. Soriano began his tenure in New York as a setup man, and ended up getting the bulk of his work in the seventh inning in 2011. But he wound up taking over as the closer after Rivera was hurt.

In 11 major league seasons, Soriano is 15-24 with 132 saves and a 2.78 ERA with four teams, including the Seattle Mariners and Atlanta Braves.

Notes: The Nationals announced they agreed to terms with LHPs Fernando Abad, Bill Bray and Brandon Mann, RHP Ross Ohlendorf and INF Will Rhymes on minor league contracts with invitations to spring training. ... Pitchers and catchers are scheduled to report to spring training in Viera, Fla., by Feb. 12. Position players report Feb. 15. The first full-squad workout is Feb. 17.

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AP Sports Writer Ronald Blum in New York contributed to this report.

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