Published January 15, 2013
| Sports Network
Washington, DC – The Washington Nationals are reportedly nearing a deal for closer Rafael Soriano.
The Washington Post cites a source close to the situation as saying the two sides are getting close to a contract. CBS Sports.com indicates that it is a two-year deal worth $28 million.
Soriano spent the past two seasons with the New York Yankees, the first as a setup man. Last year, he replaced an injured Mariano Rivera as New York's closer and converted 42-of-46 save opportunities with a 2.26 ERA in 69 games for the AL East champs.
The 33-year-old right-hander has 132 saves in an 11-year career with Seattle, Atlanta, Tampa Bay and New York. He was an All-Star closer for the Rays in 2010, finishing that season with a career-high 45 saves with a 1.73 ERA in 64 appearances.
Soriano joined the Yankees in 2011 with a three-year contract, but opted out of the deal after his strong 2012 campaign. The Yankees gave him a one-year qualifying offer, which possibly scared off potential suitors because any team that signed him would lose a first-round draft pick.
The Nationals, who would lose a pick in the June draft if Soriano signs, won the NL East last year without a dominant closer. Tyler Clippard led the team with 32 saves after 2011 closer Drew Storen slowly returned from an elbow injury. Storen had 43 saves in 2011.