Free-agent closer Brad Hand has reportedly signed a one-year contract for 10,5 million dollars with the Washington Nationals. Hand was waived by the Cleveland Indians with one year remaining on his contract worth 10 million dollars. He went unclaimed by the remaining 29 teams. The contract is pending a physical.
Closer Brad Hand and the Washington Nationals are in agreement on a one-year, $10.5 million contract, sources familiar with the deal tell ESPN.
Hand winds up with more than his option and will be the Nationals’ new closer.
— Jeff Passan (@JeffPassan) January 25, 2021
Brad Hand will be 31-years-old when the 2021 season starts and will be entering his 11th MLB season. Hand started his career as a starting pitcher with the then Florida Marlins. After spending five seasons with the Marlins, Hand was released and signed with the San Diego Padres where his career as a reliever took off.
In three seasons with the Padres Hand went 9-12 with a 2.66 ERA and a 1.038 WHIP. Hand saved 46 games in 62 attempts. In 213 innings, Hand struck out 280 batters and allowed 20 home runs. Hand was traded to the Indians in 2018 for Adam Cimber and Francisco Mejia. In three seasons in Cleveland Hand went 8-8 with a 2.78 ERA and a 1.121 WHIP. Hand saved 58 games in 65 attempts. In 107 innings hand struck out 154 batters and allowed nine home runs.
When the Indians waived Hand the move was seen as strictly a financial decision. After all, Hand had his best statistical season in 2020 albeit in a shortened season. Hand was a perfect 16 for 16 in save chances. Additionally, his 2.05 ERA and 0.773 were the best of his career. In 22 innings Hand struck out 29 batters and did not allow a home run. Hand’s career save percentage is 82% and he has allowed an astounding 18% of inherited runners to score.
Hand is one of the best closers on the market and has been so for several years. With the importance of having depth in the bullpen Hand can close games or also be used as a setup man. Surely the Indians could have traded Hand for something useful.
Embed from Getty Images