Jan 16, 2013, 5:19 AM EDT
USA Today Sports Images
Rafael Soriano becomes the Nationals' top closer after signing a $28 million deal.
There's a common wisdom in baseball that says you don't pay big money for a closer. Unless he's the last piece to a championship puzzle.
Were the Nationals a high-priced closer away from being a championship club? And if so, was Rafael Soriano the right guy to fill that all-important role? Check back in October, because we simply don't know the answer to either question right now.
The Nationals certainly didn't appear to be lacking in quality late-inning relievers. Drew Storen was stellar during his first full big-league season in 2011, then arguably was even better last September after making a full return from elbow surgery until one fateful October night against the Cardinals. Tyler Clippard, meanwhile, proved a perfectly capable fill-in closer during Storen's absence, converting 32 of 37 save opportunities, and still remains one of the best and most durable setup men in the game.
So there didn't appear to be a pressing need for Soriano, especially at the price he commanded: two years, $28 million (though half ofRead more »
NL EAST STANDINGS
THE BASEBALL SHOW
ON THE RADIO
As ESPN-980 AM's Nats Insider, Mark makes daily appearances on the station's various shows. Here's the 2015 schedule (subject to change)...
MON: 12:45 p.m.
TUE: 2:30 p.m.
WED: 4:30 p.m.
THU: 2:30 p.m.
FRI: 5:30 p.m.
SAT: 10:30 a.m.
*All times Eastern. You can also listen to the station on 94.3 FM, 92.7 FM and online at ESPN980.com. Click here for past audio clips.
Follow us on Twitter
- Nationals preview adorable Pet Day calendar
- Nats are building momentum off of each win
- Still finding his groove, Werth gets night off
- Strasburg tries to lead Nats to 4th straight win
- Roark passes another test with save against Marlins
- A blast and a bloop keep red-hot Nats rolling
- Around the NL East: Are the Mets falling back to earth?
- Nats bats come alive late in 6-4 win over Marlins
- Reed Johnson has surgery, could be out a while
- Barrett seizing setup role but watching workload