Rafael Soriano agreed on a two-year, $28 million contract with the Washington Nationals after recording 42 saves for the New York Yankees last season in Mariano Rivera’s absence, Yahoo Sports reports.
Soriano, a 33-year-old right-hander, turned down a one-year, $13.3 million qualifying offer from the Yankees in November. His contract with the Nationals includes a $14 million option for the 2015 season that vests if the reliever finishes 120 games over the next two years, Yahoo said, citing an unidentified person familiar with the situation.
Rivera, Major League Baseball’s all-time saves leader, will return to the closer’s role in New York after signing a one-year contract in December. He missed most of last season with a knee injury and Soriano finished third in the American League in saves, going 2-1 with a 2.26 earned run average in 69 relief appearances.
Soriano has 132 career saves, including a career-high 45 with the Tampa Bay Rays in 2010. The Nationals’ bullpen includes 25-year-old Drew Storen, who had 43 saves in 2011 before missing three months last season following elbow surgery. The Nationals, who had the best record in the majors last season at 98-64, also have All-Star reliever Tyler Clippard, who had 32 saves in 2012.