Nationals Sign Dan Cortes


The Washington Nationals added another potential bullpen option to the organization this afternoon, according to Kevin Goldstein of Baseball Prospectus, when they agreed to sign Dan Cortes to a minor league contract. Cortes, who’ll turn 25 in early March, was non-tendered by the Seattle Mariners in early December.

Cortes has seem minimal action with the Mariners over the past two seasons. In 14 career appearances he’s totaled a mere 16.0 innings of work. He’s 0-3 with a 5.06 ERA, 5.1 K/9, and 5.1 BB/9.

Originally a 2005 Draft pick (7th Round) of the Chicago White Sox, Cortes will be joining his fourth organization in the Nationals. He’s actually been traded twice – first from Chicago to Kansas City (along with Tyler Lumsden in exchange for Mike MacDougal), roughly a year after being drafted, and then later from Kansas City to Seattle (with Derrick Saito for Yuniesky Betancourt) in July 2009. He’s generally been considered a quality arm, having twice been named to Baseball America’s Top 100 Prospect list (#57 entering 2008, #90 entering 2009).

The 6’6” right-hander is a hard thrower with relatively solid strikeout numbers through his minor league career. Most of that time has been spent working as a starter rather than out of the bullpen, but his abilities seem to fit better in a relief role moving forward. Command has been a concern, as Cortes has been prone to give up a lot of base runners. If he’s able to cut back on the hits and walks, he could prove to be a valuable option for the Nationals’ bullpen moving forward.

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