HOUSTON, TEXAS - OCTOBER 30: Will Harris #36 of the Houston Astros delivers the pitch against the Washington Nationals during the seventh inning in Game Seven of the 2019 World Series at Minute Maid Park on October 30, 2019 in Houston, Texas.
(Photo by Bob Levey/Getty Images)

Another New York Mets rival grows stronger. The Washington Nationals signed elite relief pitcher Will Harris.

Will Harris has agreed to a contract with the Washington Nationals, bolstering the bullpen of one of the New York Mets‘ NL East rivals. The deal was first reported by Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic.

According to Rosenthal, the deal will be for three years and $24 million.

This is not what the Mets wanted to see. Harris is one of the elite relievers in the game and in 2019, he had a 1.50 ERA, 3.15 FIP, 9.3 K/9, and 2.1 BB/9. He’ll go a long way towards fixing the dreadful Nationals bullpen.

The Nats are coming off a World Series victory in 2019. They won the World Series behind the worst bullpen in baseball. Their bullpen had a 5.66 ERA, 29 blown saves, and a 1.48 WHIP. It was the team’s only flaw in 2019.

Harris won’t be able to fix Washington’s bullpen woes on his own but he will give the unit a much-needed boost. That’s especially true since they have yet to re-sign Daniel Hudson.

To this point, Harris is the only major league contract the Nationals have given to a reliever this offseason. They also haven’t traded for one. In fact, Harris is the first new player the Nationals brought in during the offseason. Every other major league signing they’ve made was a re-signing.

The Mets were said to have had some interest in Will Harris, though nothing came to fruition. With the addition of Dellin Betances to New York’s pen, the Harris news doesn’t sting as much, but seeing the Nats add a great arm to their bullpen is still concerning.

It’s even worse considering the price tag. Harris is only set to make $8 million per year over the duration of his contract. That’s less than the $10 million guaranteed Betances will earn in 2020 and he is coming off of an injury.

The length of the contract is probably what spooked the Mets off. Harris is entering his age-35 season, which means his contract will run through his age 35-37 seasons. While Harris is an elite reliever, it wouldn’t be shocking to see his stuff fall off dramatically at that age.

Either way, the Mets have to watch as one of the better relievers on the market is scooped up by a rival team. Will general manager Brodie Van Wagenen transition to a new target, or will he call it quits on the reliever market?

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