The Washington Nationals have spent this offseason looking to upgrade their roster in almost every possible way. Not only did they need to improve the lineup, but they also had plenty of work to do in the bullpen. Washington’s busy offseason was not about to slow down.
On Sunday, the Nationals made a move to shore up their bullpen. They have reportedly signed Brad Hand to a one year deal worth $10.5 million.
Washington Nationals find their closer
The bullpen has been the Nationals’ biggest issue over the past two seasons. While they were able to rebuild their relief corps on the fly in 2019, those attempts were for naught last season. By signing Hand, the Nationals may be able to avoid yet another repeat of those issues.
Hand was not supposed to be a free agent. The Indians held a team option for $10 million for the 2021 season, but chose to save money instead of bringing one of the better relievers in the game back. In the end, this worked out better for the former Indian, as he will make slightly more in the coming season.
He gives the Nationals the type of ninth inning presence they need. Hand had an excellent season in 2020, posting a 2.05 ERA and a 0.773 WHiP while notching a major league leading 16 saves. He struck out 29 batters in his 23 innings, issuing just four walks.
Maybe Hand does not have the fastball he once did. However, his slider is still an elite offering, one that still functions as an incredible out pitch. He remains a weapon in the ninth inning, capable of locking down the game virtually every time out. The Nationals have needed that type of pitcher for years.
And now, the Washington Nationals finally have that shutdown closer. According to reports, Brad Hand is heading to the nation’s capital.