The agreement, not yet officially reported by the Nationals, will be worth an estimated $28 million and will include a vesting option for 2015. This will be provided that he finishes 120 games over the next two years.
Soriano declined the Yankees' $13.3 million qualifying offer, so the Nationals will forfeit what is currently the 29th overall pick of the 2013 First Year Player Draft. The Yankees will receive the current 32nd pick in that draft. The draft order is subject to change, depending on where a couple of other unsigned free agents decide to sign.
The 33-year old Soriano had undoubtedly one of the best seasons of his career in 2012, closing down 42 saves with a 2.26 ERA. He took over the role as closer of the Yankees after Mariano Rivera had his season derailed by an injury. He will now lock in with a Nationals bullpen that already includes Drew Storen and Tyler Clippard.
He holds a 2.78 career ERA, in a career that enters the 12th year this coming season. He has pitched for Mariners, Braves, Rays, and Yankees.
The signing of Soriano comes after Washington spontaneously combusted against St. Louis during the NLDS, giving up 16 runs during the disastrous series. The final nail came during the ninth in of Game 5, when the Nationals blew a 7-5 lead in the final inning as the the Cardinals posted four runs to claim a 9-7 victory.
Storen was a single out away from taking care of David Freese, when disaster struck. He lost Freese to a walk, and then Daniel Descalso sent the first pitch into left center field to tie the game at 7-7. It progressively got worse, and then the Nationals offense couldn't make up the lost ground.
With Soriano now on board, one would almost assume that Washington will try to deal Storen or Clippard elsewhere. Storen missed most of 2012 with bone chips in his right elbow. He returned to the mound shortly after the All-Star Game, but didn't resume his close role until September when Clippard started to implode.
With the move, Washington's roster is near completion. They're still looking to nail down another starter to add to the rotation. They hope to have that locked in before pitchers have to report to camp in a few weeks.