The Chicago Cubs signed righthander Rafael Soriano to a minor-league contract on Tuesday.
Soriano, 35, spent the 2013 and 2014 seasons with the Washington Nationals. In 2014, he went 4–1 with 32 saves and a 3.11 strikeout-to-walk ratio over 62 innings pitched and 64 relief appearances. He started the season hot, converting 22 of 24 save opportunities before the All-Star break as the Nationals’ closer, but he blew five save chances in the second portion of the season and eventually lost the job.
Over 13 major-league seasons, Soriano is 22–28 with a 2.85 ERA and 207 saves over 585 appearances.
He was an All-Star with the Tampa Bay Rays in 2010 when he posted an American League-high 45 saves and a 4.07 strikeout-to-walk ratio under manager Joe Maddon, who is now in his first season with the Cubs.
Soriano’s deal with the Cubs is for a $4.1 million pro-rated base salary and $4 million incentive package if and when he is called up to the majors, reports The Washington Post’s James Wagner.
The Cubs entered Tuesday 30–25, 6.5 games behind the St. Louis Cardinals in the NL Central. Chicago’s bullpen ranks 10th in the NL with a 64% team save percentage.
- Mike Fiammetta