Nationals sign reliever Mike Gonzalez to minor league deal

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Mike Gonzalez’s inability to land a bullpen gig this offseason always seemed weird to me.

Certainly his lengthy injury history played a big part, especially since he underwent knee surgery shortly after last season, but he has a 2.94 career ERA and was effective last year with a 4.39 ERA and 51/21 K/BB ratio in 53 innings for the Orioles and Rangers.

He wasn’t able to find a big-league job but at least Gonzalez has signed somewhere, agreeing to a minor-league contract with the Nationals.

Washington could use the relief depth with closer Drew Storen and fill-in closer Brad Lidge on the disabled list. For now he’ll head to extended spring training and then presumably join the Triple-A bullpen.