The Washington Times - January 16, 2013, 09:40AM

When the Washington Nationals agreed to terms on a two-year deal with Rafael Soriano on Tuesday, it was yet another way for them to announce themselves as less a building sleeper and more a bona-fide power. It was principal owner Ted Lerner, who one source said was directly involved in the negotiations with agent Scott Boras, making a win-now deal to help avoid the memory of a late-game playoff lead that slipped away.

You can read all about the Nationals’ newest closer and what it might mean for the back-end of their already well-stocked bullpen here.


The deal with Soriano is expected to be made official by Thursday, though the Nationals have not yet confirmed the move.

– Former Nationals catcher Jesus Flores has signed a minor league deal with the Los Angeles Dodgers that includes an invite to major league spring training, according to multiple reports.

Flores, a selection of the Nationals in the 2007 Rule 5 draft, was once thought to be the organization’s catcher of the future. A foul ball that hit off his right shoulder in 2009 changed all of that. A bruise became a fracture in the shoulder and, ultimately, a torn labrum. It took Flores almost two full years before he could return to being an everyday player but by then things had changed. Wilson Ramos had joined the team and the “catcher of the future” moniker had been transferred to him.

Flores was given a chance to play everyday again this season, though, as Ramos tore his ACL in May and was lost for the season. Flores assumed the starting role but after lagging offense and performances behind the plate that the Nationals didn’t always see as up to par, he was replaced by Kurt Suzuki, who came over in a trade shortly after the July 31 deadline.

The Nationals non-tendered Flores in November, choosing to go with Suzuki and Ramos as their tandem this year with Jhonatan Solano and Sandy Leon waiting in the wings in the minor leagues.