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Report: Nats sign swingman Petit to 1-year deal

Dec 9, 2015, 8:37 PM EDT

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NASHVILLE — Needing an experienced long reliever to take over the role vacated by last week’s parting with Craig Stammen, the Nationals reportedly have come to terms with former Giants right-hander Yusmeiro Petit on a 1-year contract.

The Petit agreement, reported by the New York Post’s Joel Sherman, has not been confirmed by the Nationals and is pending a physical.

Petit is no stranger to Nationals fans, who have seen firsthand the impact he can have on a game pitching long relief. The right-hander famously tossed six scoreless innings of 1-hit ball in Game 2 of the 2014 NLDS, earning the win for the Giants in their 18-inning triumph that altered the complexion of the series.

Petit, 31, posted nearly identical numbers in 2014 (3.69 ERA in 39 games) and 2015 (3.67 ERA in 42 games) but was non-tendered by San Francisco, which chose not to go to arbitration with him. He is eligible for free agency next winter.

Over an 8-year career with the Marlins, Diamondbacks and Giants, Petit owns a 20-27 record and 4.59 ERA, with 57 of his 161 appearances coming as a starter. The Nationals would be looking at him as a reliever but would know he was available as an emergency starter if needed.

That’s a role Stammen held for them the last four seasons but opened up when the club decided not to tender the popular right-hander a contract last week after an injury plagued year. Stammen missed most of 2015 with a torn flexor tendon in his throwing arm, and though he is encouraged about his prognosis for 2016, the club wasn’t willing to take the risk and offer him the minimum $1.8 million salary he would have been required to receive had he been tendered a contract.

Asked Monday who would fill Stammen’s role, general manager Mike Rizzo suggested a potential acquisition.

“We certainly have several internal candidates that we’ll look to, and there’s possibly something in the trade market or free-agent market that appeals to us,” he said. “We’ll definitely look into it.”

  1. Susanfaulkner - Dec 9, 2015 at 8:58 PM

    Comments anyone?

    • Eugene in Oregon - Dec 9, 2015 at 9:03 PM

      When I saw he had been DFA’ed by the Giants I wondered if the Nats might go after him. Good move.

      • Susanfaulkner - Dec 9, 2015 at 9:19 PM

        Thanks everyone!! Something positive I’m digging it.

    • virginiascopist - Dec 9, 2015 at 9:04 PM

      I think it’s a great signing. I was hoping we’d get him as soon as I heard he had been non-tendered.

      • Eugene in Oregon - Dec 9, 2015 at 10:03 PM

        Right. Non-tendered. Not DFA’ed.

  2. mdmcommish - Dec 9, 2015 at 9:05 PM

    That guy was freakin fantastic against us two years ago. In Arizona I trust.

    • unkyd59 - Dec 9, 2015 at 9:15 PM

      Mike Arizona….?

  3. whatsanattau - Dec 9, 2015 at 9:08 PM

    Very nice. A flexible, reliable, motivated and healthy pitcher who has a track record of clutch success.

  4. unkyd59 - Dec 9, 2015 at 9:17 PM

    Like.

  5. philipd763 - Dec 9, 2015 at 9:21 PM

    Good move.

  6. unkyd59 - Dec 9, 2015 at 9:25 PM

    I wonder if we’re still sniffing around Shawn Kelley….

    • scnatsfan - Dec 9, 2015 at 9:43 PM

      Mlbtraderumors says he signed with us tonight

      • unkyd59 - Dec 9, 2015 at 10:20 PM

        I see that… They cite Heyman aa the source… He’s been tied to us all day, and no confirmation. If we have Perez, Petit and Kelley, I’d say it’s not a bad week…

  7. sunshinebobby - Dec 9, 2015 at 9:33 PM

    I join the chorus. He replaces J. Zimm in this respect — he owns a no-hitter in his career. He’s only one behind Max!

    In Rizzo we Trust…

  8. therealjohnc - Dec 9, 2015 at 10:25 PM

    I know we all hate Papelbon [SPIT], but I will note that, as of right now, the bullpen projects as something like:

    Back of the ‘pen: Papelbon (R); Storen (R); Rivero (L).
    Middle innings: Kelley (R); Treinen (R); Perez (L).
    Long relief/swing starter: Petit (R).

    That’s potentially a pretty good bullpen. With Martin and de los Santos in AAA as right handed depth and Solis, Grace and Lee as left handed depth (and Bryan Harper as a LH fun possibility).

    • rabbit433 - Dec 10, 2015 at 7:07 AM

      Operative word would be potentially. Another would be “hope”!

    • virginiascopist - Dec 10, 2015 at 7:39 AM

      Bryan Harper is not on the 40-man, so there is a chance he could be chosen by some team in the Rule 5 draft today. Crossing my fingers that doesn’t happen.

      • scnatsfan - Dec 10, 2015 at 9:32 AM

        I think Bryce would be cool with his big brother playing in the majors rather then sitting in the minors for his team

      • Batboy - Dec 10, 2015 at 1:25 PM

        Nuts You All Are! Really! You Really Tink Bryce could be traded?

    • tcostant - Dec 10, 2015 at 7:59 AM

      A trade for Andrew Miller would make the pen something else!

    • Bat boy - Dec 10, 2015 at 1:22 PM

      Nope ! No Paps, Drew gone too!

  9. therealjohnc - Dec 9, 2015 at 10:26 PM

    If they do ink Kelley, Petit and Perez that will fill the 40 man roster. Any other moves would have to also drop players or need a new spot. I think Erik Davis is going to have a very nervous Christmas …

  10. Sonny G 10 - Dec 9, 2015 at 10:52 PM

    Keep chucking, Rizzo. Keep up the good work.

  11. Drew - Dec 9, 2015 at 11:59 PM

    Mets sign ss Asdrubal Cabrera. Looks like Desi’s not going to Citi Field.

    • Susanfaulkner - Dec 10, 2015 at 12:06 AM

      Do the Mets have to get any better?

      • natsjackinfl - Dec 10, 2015 at 7:22 AM

        If you think Astrubal Cabrera makes the Mets better, he’s on par or even a notch worse than Wilmer Flores defensively. And if he’s looked as a 2b replacement for Iron Hands Murphy, then they take a big hit offensively.

    • infideljack - Dec 10, 2015 at 4:47 AM

      He blew it. Espinosa is a bettter player for less money.

  12. veejh - Dec 10, 2015 at 12:30 AM

    I think everyone likes this move because he beat us in that game 2. He hasn’t exactly been stellar since.

    • bowdenball - Dec 10, 2015 at 8:55 AM

      Sure- just remember that by “since” you’re talking about 76 innings in one season, and that before he beat us in Game 2 he was exceptional for 117 innings, and was also great in 48 innings the previous season.

      I don’t think anyone’s expecting Craig Kimbrel. I think they’re expecting Craig Stammen except with a little more flexibility, and that’s what they’ll probably get.

  13. alexva6 - Dec 10, 2015 at 7:13 AM

    Perez, Kelley, Petit all veteran arms for the BP vs the unproven set up men from last year.

    I am still hopeful that under Maddox the other younger arms on the roster and in the system will prove that they can be better. Treinen and maybe even Storen in particular.

  14. natsfan1a - Dec 10, 2015 at 7:45 AM

    Like, although I didn’t need a reminder of the 18-inning game. That one’s pretty much seared into my memory. (Hat tip: drunken frat boy Giants fans who were seated behind me.)

    • virginiascopist - Dec 10, 2015 at 8:26 AM

      I am not terribly surprised that his agents are marketing him that way, since there appears to be very little market for him as a shortstop, but I would be shocked if some team signed him to a multi-year, multi-million dollar contract to play a position he has never played in the majors. Did they learn nothing from the Hanley Ramirez fiasco?

    • chaz11963 - Dec 10, 2015 at 8:30 AM

      If Desi is willing to play 2B, his value would certainly go up due to his offensive power potential. I don’t see any team willing to plan on taking a chance to play him in the OF

  15. chaz11963 - Dec 10, 2015 at 8:26 AM

    Petit is a nice long relief addition, and is a good replacement for Stammen. We now hae him, a new loogy in Perez, and possibly a solid middle relief guy in Kelly. We still aren’t seeing the big problem in the back-end of the bullpen addressed.

  16. jd - Dec 10, 2015 at 9:06 AM

    I think that these moves are designed to prevent the type of implosion that happened last year. The pitchers we are signing aren’t jaw droppers but they are solid veteran types who have done this in the past, they are also not terribly expensive.

    I think we are learning (and I guess we already knew this) that if you want the top notch shiny closers you will have to overpay greatly both in terms of dollars and prospects. The good teams develop their own closers or acquire obscurish type pitchers ALA Wade Davis and develop them as closers. Do we know for sure that A.J. Cole can’t be a top notch closer?

    • alexva6 - Dec 10, 2015 at 9:18 AM

      Cole could be that guy, as could Reynaldo Lopez. They would need significant time at AAA in that role before I’d consider trying it. I wanted Treinen at AAA last year to see if he could handle it.

      I don’t see Rizzo starting the year with an unproven guy closing.

      • jd - Dec 10, 2015 at 9:24 AM

        alexva6,

        I agree with you. Treinen was given an opportunity to pitch in lower leverage situations at the big league level but failed to produce even then. It’s not necessary for Cole to close at the AAA level, he could be tried in a set up role in the big leagues. That’s how Wade Davies stared his bullpen career. He only started closing when Holland went down.

    • unkyd59 - Dec 10, 2015 at 11:15 AM

      Does anybody think Dusty’s happy talk re: Aroldis was angling at being a trade partner, at a reduced price, for acquiring him? If the Reds want to deal him, the price certainly came down, yesterday, and Grandpa Dusty may think he’s the guy to get this situation under control…?

      • trfwans - Dec 10, 2015 at 11:27 AM

        No. When Dusty made his comments he did not know the whole story. When the Reds cut the deal with LA they (reportedly) knew nothing about it. Now they’re stuck with Chapman until Manfred’s investigation is done. At that point, if he’s a trade chip at all his value will be small because he’ll be a short term rental.

      • jd - Dec 10, 2015 at 11:28 AM

        maybe so. But I would run as far and as fast as I can from that situation. Once the Reyes case comes into focus the MLB will have as big of a mess on their hands as the NFL. No reason for us to be right in the middle of it.

      • veejh - Dec 10, 2015 at 11:49 AM

        I think we’ve had our fair share of violent closers. Pass.

  17. jd - Dec 10, 2015 at 9:09 AM

    I think Zobrist for 2 years would have been great, 4 years not so much. I disagree with most posters about Jason Heyward. This is a player who is averaging 4 WAR a year and is only 26 years old. I think if you can get him for under $20 mil a year you will get great returns for your investment.

    • scnatsfan - Dec 10, 2015 at 9:33 AM

      The problem is he, by reports, is looking for 200M.

      • jd - Dec 10, 2015 at 9:44 AM

        $200 mil for 10 years is not a crazy idea for a 26 year old of this caliber.

      • water47 - Dec 10, 2015 at 10:19 AM

        Yes, but he will want at least one opt-out at 3 or 4 years. So, front-load the contract and you get a three/four year deal. And, an opportunity to remake the roster around new players when both He and Harper are FA..

  18. ehay2k - Dec 10, 2015 at 11:51 AM

    Petit is a much needed upgrade over nothing, which is what we have at the moment.

    It looks like Desi will not be getting a big contract. Not even sure where he could end up because teams that could still pay him really don’t need a SS now. That is why he is getting promoted for the OF. And unlike HanRam, Desi will put the work in to get better. He also has a better arm and speed than Hanley, so he actually can play OF.

    Still, should fire his agent.

    • veejh - Dec 10, 2015 at 11:54 AM

      He should fire himself for not taking the Nats offer. Thank God he didn’t!

      • ehay2k - Dec 10, 2015 at 7:41 PM

        I agree, sort of. The contract he turned down might look like a real bargain in 3 years. If so, then he becomes a trade piece. At any rate, he didn’t sign and it cost him and maybe the Nats.

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