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Nationals sign Tony Sipp

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Jon Heyman reports that the Washington Nationals have signed reliever Tony Sipp. It’s a big league deal that will pay Sipp $1 million in 2019 a $2.5 million mutual option or $250,00 buyout in 2020. For what it’s worth, he’s coming off of a three-year, $18 million contract with the Astros.

Sipp, 35, spent the past five seasons in Houston where he alternated between being really dang good and pretty terrible. Which, hey, viva variety. Last year was a really dang good year: he posted a 1.86 ERA in 54 games. He pitched only 38.2 innings, though, which tells you, if you did not already know, that he’s a lefty specialist. I suppose that line also can tell you a lot about how Sipp comes down on that whole “pitchers gotta face three batters” proposal that is circulating. Put him in the “nay” column.

If the Nats get the good Tony Sipp they’ll be pretty happy with him. And even if he’s not up to his 2018 level, the fact that he’s always been pretty healthy and can give his manager 50-60 games like clockwork is a plus. The Nats would’ve killed for a durable reliever or three last season and now, in all likelihood, they’re getting one.

In other news, Sean Doolittle‘s expectations are in the process of being adjusted:

White Sox shut down Lucas Giolito for remainder of season

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The Athletic’s James Fegan reports that the White Sox are shutting down starter Lucas Giolito for the remainder of a season. An MRI revealed a mild lat strain, which typically comes with a three- to four-week recovery timetable. The third-place, 65-84 White Sox have nothing left to play for, so it makes sense to play it safe with their prized young hurler.

Giolito, 25, had a breakout season. He went 14-9 with a 3.41 ERA and a 228/57 K/BB ratio in 176 2/3 innings. He made his first All-Star team and will likely earn a few downballot votes for the AL Cy Young Award.

Giolito was scheduled to start Tuesday’s series opener against the Twins. Ross Detwiler will start in his place opposite Martín Pérez.