Report: Brad Hand, Nationals Agree to 1-Year, $10.5M Contract in Free Agency

Paul KasabianSenior ContributorJanuary 25, 2021

Cleveland Indians relief pitcher Brad Hand throws against the Detroit Tigers in the ninth inning of a baseball game in Detroit, Saturday, Aug. 15, 2020. Cleveland won 3-1. (AP Photo/Paul Sancya)
Paul Sancya/Associated Press

The Washington Nationals reportedly signed left-handed closer Brad Hand to a one-year, $10.5 million deal.

ESPN's Jeff Passan reported the news Sunday, with Mark Feinsand of MLB.com adding the deal does not include any option years nor any incentives.

Hand led Major League Baseball with 16 saves in 2020 for Cleveland. The three-time All-Star went 2-1 with a 2.05 ERA, 0.77 WHIP and 29 strikeouts in 22.0 innings.

The 30-year-old has been in MLB since 2011 when he got the call to join the then-Florida Marlins. He stayed in South Florida until 2015 before the San Diego Padres claimed him off waivers in 2016.

Hand led the majors with 82 appearances that year, going 4-4 with a 2.92 ERA and 111 strikeouts in 89.1 innings. He became the Padres closer in 2017, earning 21 saves while posting a 2.16 ERA.

The southpaw was a hot name before the 2018 trade deadline due to the Padres' struggles. He eventually landed in Cleveland, where he became the team's closer. He managed a career-high 34 saves in 2019 before following up with his league-high mark in 2020.

Hand can throw a fastball, sinker and slider, per FanGraphs. He opts for the slider most often at 51.4 percent of the time. In addition, 57.1 percent of the batted balls in play against him in 2020 resulted in fly balls.

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Hand is a fantastic free-agent signing for Washington, whose bullpen receives an immediate and significant boost.