Washington Nationals: Grading Mike Rizzo’s 10 best free agent signings

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CHICAGO, IL - OCTOBER 11: General mananger Mike Rizzo of the Washington Nationals speaks to the media before game four of the National League Division Series against the Chicago Cubs at Wrigley Field on October 11, 2017 in Chicago, Illinois. (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)
CHICAGO, IL - OCTOBER 11: General mananger Mike Rizzo of the Washington Nationals speaks to the media before game four of the National League Division Series against the Chicago Cubs at Wrigley Field on October 11, 2017 in Chicago, Illinois. (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images) /
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Rafael Soriano (2013-14)

Three years ago, ESPN produced a ’30 for 30’ short documentary called “Untucked” on Marquette University’s classic basketball uniforms from the 1970’s. Well, I’m over here still waiting for my Rafael Soriano untucked doc. It would be 15 minutes of pure edge-of-the-seat agony, probably involving two walks, a hard lineout, and a long flyball to the warning track on his 27th pitch to record the save.

Rizzo signed Soriano to a two-year, $28 million deal before the 2013 season, and things quickly started to hit the fan. The Nationals acquired Soriano because they needed relief help, which was partially inspired by Drew Storen’s unforgettable meltdown in Game 5 of the 2012 NLDS.

Soriano took over the closer role, and pitched well enough (though he did have a knack for making things interesting). Storen, meanwhile, imploded, and was sent to the minor leagues in July sitting on a 5.95 ERA.

Storen eventually returned to the majors, and pitched well, and took over the closer role again in 2014 when Soriano began to lose his way. But then, Storen blew Game 2 of the NLDS, and the rest is a Papelbon-induced history.

Soriano actually finished with decent enough numbers in his two seasons with the Nationals (3.15 ERA), but the number of headaches kills this grade.

Grade: D+

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