NASHVILLE — Needing an experienced long reliever to take over the role vacated by last week's parting with Craig Stammen, the Nationals reportedly have come to terms with former Giants right-hander Yusmeiro Petit on a 1-year contract.
The Petit agreement, reported by the New York Post's Joel Sherman, has not been confirmed by the Nationals and is pending a physical.
Petit is no stranger to Nationals fans, who have seen firsthand the impact he can have on a game pitching long relief. The right-hander famously tossed six scoreless innings of 1-hit ball in Game 2 of the 2014 NLDS, earning the win for the Giants in their 18-inning triumph that altered the complexion of the series.
Petit, 31, posted nearly identical numbers in 2014 (3.69 ERA in 39 games) and 2015 (3.67 ERA in 42 games) but was non-tendered by San Francisco, which chose not to go to arbitration with him. He is eligible for free agency next winter.
Over an 8-year career with the Marlins, Diamondbacks and Giants, Petit owns a 20-27 record and 4.59 ERA, with 57 of his 161 appearances coming as a starter. The Nationals would be looking at him as a reliever but would know he was available as an emergency starter if needed.
That's a role Stammen held for them the last four seasons but opened up when the club decided not to tender the popular right-hander a contract last week after an injury plagued year. Stammen missed most of 2015 with a torn flexor tendon in his throwing arm, and though he is encouraged about his prognosis for 2016, the club wasn't willing to take the risk and offer him the minimum $1.8 million salary he would have been required to receive had he been tendered a contract.
Asked Monday who would fill Stammen's role, general manager Mike Rizzo suggested a potential acquisition.
"We certainly have several internal candidates that we'll look to, and there's possibly something in the trade market or free-agent market that appeals to us," he said. "We'll definitely look into it."