Nationals sign reliever Will Harris

Ben Krimmel
January 03, 2020 - 9:01 am
Will Harris of the Houston Astros delivers the pitch against the Washington Nationals during the seventh inning in Game 7.

Bob Levey/Getty Images

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The Washington Nationals strengthened the bullpen Thursday signing veteran relief pitcher Will Harris to a multi-year deal.

The Nationals and Harris agreed to a three-year, $24 million deal, pending a physical, with The Athletic's Ken Rosenthal first to report the deal and Bob Nightengale first to report the terms. The Nationals announced the deal Friday. 

Harris, a 35-year-old right-hander, is best known in D.C. as being the pitcher who allowed Howie Kendrick's go-ahead two-run home run off the right-field foul pole in the eighth inning of Game 7 of the World Series. 

Will it be weird for Harris to join Kendrick and the Nats in 2020?

“Will it be awkward for a second or two? More than likely, but that stuff fades and it’s about playing baseball,” Harris told MLB.com. “I’ve done my homework, and the guys they have that I know who have played there and been there, everybody has told me I’m going to love it.”

Of course, Harris' signing could spell the end of Daniel Hudson's time in Washington.

An eight-year MLB veteran, Harris spent the last five years with the Houston Astros where he posted a 2.36 ERA in 309 games over 297 innings pitched. While age may be a concern, Harris has averaged 62 appearances a season over the last five years.

“I felt like the whole process was kind of trending toward the Nationals maybe from the beginning,” Harris told MLB.com. “They seemed to be the most bullish on me and made me a priority from the beginning. ... They were on my really, really short list of places I wanted to go, and to have that kind of matchup, I think, was great for everybody.”

He is coming off his best season in the big leagues when he pitched to a 1.50 ERA over 60 innings with a 0.933 WHIP and 309 ERA+. 

The contract does not contain any options and will expire when Harris is 38, per The Washington Post's Jesse Dougherty. 

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