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

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