Washington Nationals sign right-hander Casey Janssen


The Washington Nationals have agreed to a one-year deal with right-handed pitcher Casey Janssen worth $5 million.

The 33-year-old was one of the best relief-pitchers on the market, and the Nats made a good move by snagging this gentleman. Although they have enough starting pitching, an extra reliever or two never hurts. However, where is the hitting?

I wrote an article stating that very question about a week ago following the singing of former Detroit Tiger Max Scherzer. You could check it right here if you would like. But I will ask the same question: why aren’t they acquiring any bats?

Pitching is great; it is vital to winning a championship, and with the rotation that Washington consists of, they could win a World Series in no time. However, there is one rule in baseball that applies no matter what the situation may be: Pitching keeps you in games, hitting wins games.

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However, let’s step away from that and take a look at how good this Nationals team really is. Their pitching is undoubtedly the best in the league, particularly when you look at their starting rotation. I’m not going to go through all five pitchers in their rotation as I have already done so a number of times and by now you should all know who they are.

Their bullpen performed incredibly well last season too. Between Rafael Soriano and Drew Storen, the Nationals recorded 43 saves. Add two more by two other pitchers and they accumulated a National League-leading 45 saves on the season. Their team-ERA of 3.03 was tops in the league.

With the addition of former Cy Young award-winner Max Scherzer, the rotation might very well improve this season. That is a pretty scary thought now isn’t it.

The addition of Casey Janssen will only improve a bullpen that already performed so well last season. The eight-year veteran spent his first eight seasons in Toronto with the Blue Jays. He held an ERA of 3.94 in the very tough AL East last season, and has maintained a very impressive 3.52 career ERA. He also recorded 25 saves for Toronto last year.

However, he should pose as no threat to Rafael Soriano who has been the closer of this team for two years, and has compiled 75 saves over the last two seasons. Janssen could perhaps claim the role as setup-man for this Nationals team, but that remains to be seen, as there are several other candidates that could potentially take that spot.

Next: Do the Nats need to make any moves?