Just over two months after the Washington Nationals dashed his World Series dreams, Will Harris has opted to join the enemy.
Late Saturday evening, the World Series champs signed the veteran reliever to a three-year deal worth $24 million, as reported by Bob Nightengale of USA Today. Harris had spent each of the last five seasons with Houston. He previously pitched for the Colorado Rockies and Arizona Diamondbacks.
Harris will bolster a bullpen that recorded the worst ERA in baseball during the regular season at 5.66. Despite the woes, the Nationals got just enough out of their relievers to win the World Series – though the star-studded and overworked rotation shouldered most of the load.
The veteran Harris came out for relief in Game 7 of the World Series. With Houston sporting a 2-1 lead in the top of the seventh inning, playoff hero Howie Kendrick hit a go-ahead two-run homer off of Harris to put Washington on top.
They never surrendered the lead, tacking on three more runs en route to a 6-2 victory. It was the first World Series championship in franchise history, and the Nats thwarted Houston’s latest step in trying to become a dynasty.
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The Nationals will look a lot different on paper once the 2020 season rolls around.
Though they signed Harris and managed to retain Stephen Strasburg on a $245 million deal, they lost All-Star third baseman and top hitter Anthony Rendon to the Los Angeles Angels in free agency. Rendon signed for the exact same money as Strasburg, joining an Angels team that only reached the postseason once in the 2010s.
But the Nationals remain a prime suitor for Josh Donaldson’s services, and they still own perhaps the deepest rotation in all of baseball. Even without Rendon, Washington has the pieces in place to compete for another World Series championship in 2020.
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