Rafael Soriano Signing Doesn't Mean a Whole Lot for the Washington Nationals

By Bryan Lutz
Anthony Grupposo – USA TODAY Sports

If Scott Boras could sum up his career in one sentence, it would be patience is a virtue. Just when I thought Boras was losing his touch on the open market, he and the Washington Nationals came to an agreement for the services of Rafael Soriano. The contract is reportedly a two-year deal for $28 million dollars. The $14 million AAV is the second highest total in the history of Major League Baseballwith Mariano Rivera’s $15 million being the highest ever. While Soriano is a solid reliever, it shouldn’t mean a whole lot to what is already the best team in the National League East.

I feel this move helps the Nationals more in middle relief than it does at the closer spot. With Soriano as the full-time closer, it pushes Drew Storen to the primary right-handed set-up role. Tyler Clippard and Craig Stammen will now become key sixth and seventh inning guys, making Washington one of the deepest bullpens in all of baseball.

Although Soriano does help the Nationals stabalize their bullpen, he does come with some red flags. For the lack of a better word or explanation, Soriano was pretty darn lucky in 2012. His FIP and xFIP are way higher than what his actual ERA was, and it’s hard to imagine him improving upon his 88 LOB% he had last season. I think LOB% is the best statistic to look at when figuring out who will rebound and will will regress entering 2013, so it’s pretty obvious Soriano will regret some.

At the end of the day, the Nationals have and will have a boatload of money coming into the team this season, so it’s not really a “bad” deal. However, there is absolutely, positively no way that he will earn his contract in Washington. All this contract proves to me is that Scott Boras is still the best in the world.

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