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Soriano gives Nationals a dominant bullpen

By January 15, 2013

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The best reliever available is off the market, and he's getting big, big money.

The Washington Nationals have Drew Storen and Tyler Clippard already, but they just became either setup relievers -- at least most of the time -- or trade bait as the Nats signed Rafael Soriano to a two-year, $28 million contract that makes him the highest paid relief pitcher in the game. It also includes a $14 million option for 2015 if he finishes 120 games in the next two seasons.

The Nationals, who also brought back Adam LaRoche last week (but have to figure out what to do with Michael Morse), will also forfeit their top pick because the New York Yankees offered Soriano arbitration. He closed last season for the Yankees after Mariano Rivera's injury and saved 42 games.

And the Soriano-Storen-Clippard arrangement -- assuming they keep all three -- is potentially as good as the Craig Kimbrel-Jonny Venters-Eric O'Flaherty trio at the back of the Atlanta pen.

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