Nationals sign Matt Belisle to a minor league deal

AP Photo/John Bazemore
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MLB.com’s William Ladson reports that the Nationals have signed reliever Matt Belisle to a minor league contract with an invitation to spring training.

Belisle, 35, racked up only 33 2/3 innings with the Cardinals last season as he dealt with elbow injuries. He underwent arthroscopic surgery back in October. Belisle was effective in his 34 appearances, though, compiling a 2.67 ERA with a 25/15 K/BB ratio.

As he hit his mid-thirties, Belisle’s strikeout rate dropped and his walk rate increased, so he is certainly no longer the high-leverage arm that became a staple of the Rockies’ bullpen back in 2010. If he is able to impress in spring training, he would most likely contribute in a mop-up or low-leverage role for the Nationals.