Washington, D.C. – For those who thought the Nats would be content with what they already had... you're wrong.
The Washington Nationals and reliever Rafael Soriano reached agreement on a $28 million, two-year contract that includes $14 million in deferred money, a person familiar with the negotiations told The Associated Press on Tuesday.
Speaking on condition of anonymity, the person said Soriano's contract –still pending a physical examination– contains a $14 million option for 2015 that would become guaranteed if he reaches 120 games finished over 2013 and 2014 combined.
Soriano, who turned 33 in December, would join a Nationals bullpen that already includes Drew Storen and Tyler Clippard. Both of those right-handers closed games for the NL East champions last season.
The Soriano-Nationals negotiations were first reported by Yahoo Sports.
A one-time All-Star, Soriano had 42 saves and a 2.26 ERA for the AL East champion New York Yankees last year while filling in for injured closer Mariano Rivera, who plans to return from a knee injury in 2013.
Soriano decided in October to decline a $14 million option for 2013, taking a $1.5 million buyout from the Yankees and entering free agency instead.
Washington will lose its first-round draft pick in this year's amateur draft, while the Yankees will gain an extra pick after the first round as compensation for losing Soriano.
The right-hander signed his old contract with the Yankees after saving a career-high 45 games for Tampa Bay in 2010. Soriano began his tenure in New York as a setup man, and ended up getting the bulk of his work in the seventh inning in 2011. But he wound up taking over as the closer after Rivera was hurt.
In 11 major league seasons, Soriano is 15-24 with 132 saves and a 2.78 ERA with four teams, including the Seattle Mariners and Atlanta Braves.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.