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Joe Blanton reportedly signs with Nationals

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Setup man gets 1-year, $4 million deal

Los Angeles Dodgers v Cincinnati Reds Photo by Jamie Sabau/Getty Images

Joe Blanton’s successful conversion from starting to relief didn’t yield the right-hander a multi-year contract, but he has found a new home. The veteran right-hander has reportedly agreed to terms on a new one-year deal with the Nationals, per Jorge Castillo of the Washington Post.

The Nationals will pay Blanton $4 million in 2017 plus up to another $1 million in performance bonuses, per Ken Rosenthal of Fox Sports. That matches his one-year, $4 million contract last winter with the Dodgers, in which he also and earned another $1 million in performance bonuses.

Blanton, 36, was out of baseball in 2014, then returned to post two very good seasons in relief, including 2016 with the Dodgers.

He posted a 2.48 ERA and 3.33 FIP in 75 games with the Dodgers in 2016, with 80 strikeouts and 26 walks in 80 innings. Blanton’s 80 innings in relief were the most by a Dodgers pitcher since Ramon Troncoso in 2009.

This has been a lucrative winter so far for relievers, the deepest position on the free agent market, though the closers saw the bulk of it, with Aroldis Chapman, Kenley Jansen and Mark Melancon signed for a combined $228 million.

But there were still some multi-year deals to be had beyond the top layer of closers, too. Brett Cecil signed a four-year, $30.5 million contract with the Cardinals, Mike Dunn got $19 million over three years with the Rockies, while Brad Ziegler ($16 million, Red Sox), Junichi Tazawa ($12 million, Marlins), Daniel Hudson ($11 million, Pirates), Santiago Casilla ($11 million, A’s) and Marc Rzepczynski ($11 million, Mariners) all got two-year deals.

But Blanton had to settle for a one-year deal.

Dodgers 2016-2017 free agents

Pos Player 2017 team Contract
Pos Player 2017 team Contract
CL Kenley Jansen Dodgers 5 years, $80 million
3B Justin Turner Dodgers 4 years, $64 million
OF Josh Reddick Astros 4 years, $52 million
LHP Rich Hill Dodgers 3 years, $48 million
RHP Jesse Chavez Angels 1 year, $5.75 million
RHP Joe Blanton Nationals 1 year, $4 million*
SP Brett Anderson Cubs 1 year, $3.5 million
LHP J.P. Howell Jays 1 year, $3 million
2B Chase Utley Dodgers 1 year, $2 million
RHP Louis Coleman Reds minor league deal
*pending physical