Nationals sign Rafael Soriano

Jared Wickerham

The Washington Nationals have signed free agent reliever Rafael Soriano to a two-year $28 million contract.

The Washington Nationals have signed right-handed closer Rafael Soriano to a two-year, $28 million contract, reports Jeff Passan of Yahoo! Sports:

Passan adds that Soriano’s $14 million option for 2013 will vest if he finishes 120 games over the next two seasons.

Soriano filled in as the New York Yankees' closer last season in place of the injured Mariano Rivera. The future Hall of Famer is set to return this season, and Soriano elected to opt out of his contract with New York.

Soriano declined the Yankees' qualifying offer earlier this offseason, meaning the team would collect draft pick compensation if he signed elsewhere. The Nationals will be sending the No. 29 selection in this spring’s MLB Draft to the Yankees in exchange for signing Soriano.

Washington was willing to lose their first-round pick because they are projecting lesser talent to be available and they have to surrender a relatively low amount of bonus-pool money, according to Passan.

Last season for the Yankees, Soriano posted an ERA of 2.26. The 33-year-old owns a career ERA of 2.78 with 9.4 strikeouts and 2.9 walks per nine innings.

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