The Nationals have agreed to terms on an MLB deal with reliever Kyle Finnegan, per a team announcement.
The right-handed Finnegan has spent the entirety of his professional career as an Athletics farmhand. In 2019 he recorded a 2.31 ERA with 14 saves while splitting time between Triple-A Las Vegas and Double-A Midland. The 28-year-old showed a huge uptick in strikeouts after a 2016 migration to the bullpen, as evidenced by his 72 Ks in just 52.2 innings of work last year (12.8 strikeouts per nine).
For the Nationals, bringing in an unproven reliever who’s shown an ability to succeed in the upper minors reads as a worthwhile gamble, given their recent issues in the pen. Last offseason saw their acquisitions of formerly dominant MLB relievers Trevor Rosenthal and Kyle Barraclough go sideways early on, so it makes sense that they might change track somewhat and offer an opportunity to a bullpen greenhorn. Washington’s 40-man count now sits at 30.