Rafael Soriano will be the Washington Nationals' new closer, after inking a 2 year, $28 million deal. PHOTO: Reuters
The Washington Nationals added to an already very strong team by signing Rafael Soriano for 2 years, $28 million with a vesting option for a third year. Soriano notched 42 saves for the Yankees last year with a 185 ERA+ (which is really good) in 67.2 innings.
As a Mets fan, I like it when teams in the N.L. East pay too much for a player, and, with relievers as fickle as they are, this seems like a small overpay. The thing is, if this is an overpay, it's not much of one and Soriano makes the Nationals look that much more dominant. Yes, I expected the Nats to crush my scrappy Mets this year, but now they are looking way too good, and this is getting less fun.
To review, the Nationals won the N.L. East last year by a solid 4 games (they had 98 wins total). This year they look a lot better. Monsters Bryce Harper and Stephen Strasburg are a year older and Strasburg should be allowed to finish the season this year (if they don't tweak his schedule in anticipation of a playoff run, the Nats are morons). They added the annoyingly useful Denard Span to the lineup, and now Rafael Soriano to an already decent bullpen.
The Mets slow build toward 2014 and 2015 looks good as long as there isn't a juggernaut in the division, destorying hobbit homes and winning way too many baseball games. Looking toward 2014, maybe Soriano really will be an overpriced, average reliever who prevents the Nationals from tuning up the team, but it's just as likely that he will be stablizing a bullpen on a team with no real weaknesses.
See, Nationals, it's not cool when the division doesn't feel winnable. Have your fun this year, but have things fall apart a little in 2014 to make it interesting, K?