11:05 a.m. EST: The Nationals and Lidge have agreed to terms on a contract, according to Bill Ladson of MLB.com.
10:54 a.m. EST: The Washington Nationals are closing in on a contract with free agent reliever Brad Lidge, according to Jim Salisbury of CSN Philadelphia. He doesn't give any details about possible terms of the agreement, but the former Phillies closer presumably is settling for a one-year deal.
Lidge, 35, has been a near perfect embodiment of the volatility of relief pitchers. In 2008, he had one of the best seasons ever by a closer, posting a 1.95 ERA while going a perfect 41-for-41 on save opportunities for the World Series champions. The very next season, everything fell apart and he posted a 7.21 ERA.
Since that brutal 2009 season, Lidge has continued to see his velocity plummet from 96 MPH in 2005 to 94 MPH in 2009 to just 90 MPH in 2011. But even so, he's managed to figure out how to be successful when he's gotten on the mound of late. Over the past two seasons, Lidge has a 2.49 ERA in 65 innings, so he's shown that he's not totally done yet.