Closer Brad Hand has a new home, as Jeff Passan reports that he’s signed a one-year deal with the Washington Nationals.
Hand led the American League with 16 saves for the Cleveland Indians last season and has collected 103 since moving to the closer role in 2017. He did see a slight dip in velocity on his 4-seamer last season, dropping to 91.4 mph, from 92.7 from the season before. His slider remains almost unhittable, as evidenced by the 38.6% whiff-rate he had on it last season.
The Nats bullpen could use all the help they can get after posting the 23rd-worst ERA last season. Blown saves were also an issue. Daniel Hudson led the Majors with five blown saves, and Will Harris was close behind with three, which tied for third-most in the Majors.
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