Brad Lidge isn't what he used to be, which was one of the most dominant strikeout pitchers of his generation. His fastball is down, and he wasn't the Phillies' closer after returning last season. But his slider is still amazing, and while the strikeout rate has dropped, it has a long way to go before it even sniffs average. The newly relevant Washington Nationals are likely thrilled to have him. From the Nationals' official Twitter feed:
OFFICIAL: #Nationals agree to terms with RHP Brad Lidge on a one-year contract.
No word on the amount yet, but it shouldn't be too much for a one-year deal.It was a bad offseason for teams that were looking to pounce on relievers early for a little cost certainty. The Giants exercised a $5 million option on Jeremy Affeldt, the Twins re-signed Matt Capps for $4.5 million (and gave up a supplemental draft pick), and the Phillies signed Jonathan Papelbon for nine years and $214 million, or something close to it.
Since then, Ryan Madson agreed to a one-year, $8.5 million deal, Francisco Cordero agreed to a one-year, $4.5 million deal, and Lidge has signed. The moral of the story? This offseason was lousy with relievers, and there were probably going to be a few who slipped through the cracks.
Lidge will make a good Nationals bullpen even more formidable. Drew Storen will still close, and All-star setup man Tyler Clippard will handle the eighth inning, which leaves Lidge and Sean Burnett to handle any other high-leverage spots that might pop up.