Nats Add Former Phils Closer Lidge to Bullpen


The Nationals have made yet another move to shore up their pitching staff, agreeing to terms with former Philadelphia Phillies closer Brad Lidge, the team announced on its Web site.

According to Jim Salisbury of CSNPhilly.com, who first reported the deal, it is  worth $1 million over one year and includes incentives.

The 35-year-old right-hander established a reputation as one of baseball’s top closers in six seasons with the Houston Astros, before moving to Philadelphia in 2008 to help the Phillies win the World Series, going 41-for-41 in save opportunities during the regular season with 92 strikeouts in 59 innings. He saved seven more games in the postseason that year, including the final game of the World Series. For his career,  he has compiled 223 saves in 266 opportunities with 789 strikeouts in 594 innings, with a 3.44 earned run average, according to mlb.com.

But Lidge has been limited by injuries the past two seasons, and the Phils permanently replaced him as their closer this off-season, signing Jontahan Papelbon away from the Red Sox to fill that role. Lidge was effective when he was able to pitch last season, holding hitters to a .250 average over 19 innings, pitching to a 1.90 ERA.

With the Nationals, he will reportedly join Tyler Clippard and Henry Rodriguez as setup men for closer Drew Storen, according to Adam Kilgore of The Washington Post.   His most important contribution, though, may be adding veteran leadership to an inexperienced, albeit talented, bullpen.

Tags: Brade Lidge Philadelphia Phillies Washington Nationals

  • http://calltothepen.com/ SorianoJoe

    The leadership factor is important and that fact alone could have justified this deal. Despite Lidge’s age and injury history, his strikeout rate means that he should be an average reliever in high-leverage situations. He is one of the most clutch relievers in the game, even if he is only mediocre in terms of overall talent at this point. $1 million is almost nothing, which means that the Nats signed a useful reliever for a little bit less than his market value. It was a solid move made by Rizzo and the FO, and Lidge will definitely help out guys like Storen.

  • http://calltothepen.com/ SorianoJoe

    The leadership factor is important and that fact alone could have justified this deal. Despite Lidge’s age and injury history, his strikeout rate means that he should be an average reliever in high-leverage situations. He is one of the most clutch relievers in the game, even if he is only mediocre in terms of overall talent at this point. $1 million is almost nothing, which means that the Nats signed a useful reliever for a little bit less than his market value. It was a solid move made by Rizzo and the FO, and Lidge will definitely help out guys like Storen.

  • http://districtondeck.com/ Aaron Somers

    @SorianoJoe You touched on a key part of this signing to me in that last sentence – how he’s going to help out Storen. Lidge has a good deal of high pressure experience to share. He’s pitched in the playoffs and had to deal with adversity from those experiences (Pujols’ moonshot off the railroad tracks in Houston, for instance). Lidge has battled through most of them. With the Nationals possibly on the verge of being competitive, Storen is going to be closing out bigger and bigger games. He’s going to be facing higher leverage situations more and more. Having Lidge there, even just to chat with in the bullpen during games, should have a great impact on the younger players like Storen, Kimball, and others.

  • http://districtondeck.com/ Aaron Somers

    @SorianoJoe You touched on a key part of this signing to me in that last sentence – how he’s going to help out Storen. Lidge has a good deal of high pressure experience to share. He’s pitched in the playoffs and had to deal with adversity from those experiences (Pujols’ moonshot off the railroad tracks in Houston, for instance). Lidge has battled through most of them. With the Nationals possibly on the verge of being competitive, Storen is going to be closing out bigger and bigger games. He’s going to be facing higher leverage situations more and more. Having Lidge there, even just to chat with in the bullpen during games, should have a great impact on the younger players like Storen, Kimball, and others.