Nationals expected to decline Rafael Soriano’s option

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No surprise, but James Wagner of the Washington Post reports that the Nationals are expected to decline their $14 million option on right-hander Rafael Soriano.

Soriano has been one of the best relievers in baseball for years and was fantastic in the first half with 22 saves and a 0.97 ERA, but then he posted a 6.48 ERA in the second half while being stripped of closing duties and nearly being left off the Nationals’ playoff roster.

Drew Storen, who had a 1.12 ERA this season and has a 2.94 ERA for his career, will take over as the full-time closer with Tyler Clippard as his primary setup man.

At age 34 it’s tough to imagine Soriano cashing in big on the open market, but even with the rough second half he finished with a 3.19 ERA and 59/19 K/BB ratio in 62 innings overall this season. And during the past three seasons combined he has a 2.84 ERA with 179 strikeouts in 196 innings.