- The Washington Times - Tuesday, February 28, 2017

The Washington Nationals added another veteran right-handed arm to their bullpen Tuesday by signing Joe Blanton to an one-year major-league deal for $4 million, according to multiple reports.

Blanton, 36, will join Blake Treinen and Shawn Kelley as right-handers at the back of the bullpen. Last season, Blanton made a strong transition from back-of-the-rotation starter to rubber-armed bullpen help. He pitched 80 innings and finished with a 2.48 ERA for the Los Angeles Dodgers.

The Nationals received a large taste of what Blanton could do during the National League Division Series. Blanton threw five scoreless innings, allowed a hit and struck out five.

Washington still has not acquired or named a closer. Kelley and Treinen seem to be prime candidates. Joe Nathan, coming back from a second Tommy John surgery, is a longshot, but an option. As is young Koda Glover.

The bullpen likely will be filled out by left-handers Sammy Solis, Enny Romero, Oliver Perez and possibly right-handed long man Vance Worley.



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