The Washington Nationals have turned to a World Series foe to solidify the bullpen. The defending World Series champs have agreed to a multi-year contract with righty reliever Will Harris, reports The Athletic's Ken Rosenthal. USA Today's Bob Nightengale says it's a three-year deal worth $24 million. The team has not confirmed the deal.
Harris, 35, spent the last five seasons with the Astros and was consistently above-average. Last season was his best season -- Harris threw 60 innings with a 1.50 ERA and 62 strikeouts as Houston's primary setup man. He then allowed two runs in 9 2/3 innings during the Astros' run to Game 7 of the World Series.
Of course, it was Harris who surrendered Howie Kendrick's stunning seventh inning go-ahead two-run home in Game 7, which turned the game around. I suspect that will earn him a loud ovation during the pregame introductions at the home opener.
Daniel Hudson, who served as Washington's closer late in the regular season and during the postseason, remains unsigned. Harris joins righty Tanner Rainey and lefty Roenis Elias in closer Sean Doolittle's setup crew. Cot's Baseball Contract has the team's 2020 payroll at $160 million, well below last year's $197 million Opening Day figure.
The Nationals retained Stephen Strasburg but lost third baseman Anthony Rendon to free agency earlier this offseason. They remain engaged with Josh Donaldson and have reportedly extended a four-year contract offer. In addition to a third baseman, Washington could use more pitching depth (like every team) and a bench bat.
. He was the top-ranked right-handed reliever on the market this winter and the best unsigned reliever at the time of this deal.