The Nationals have signed another former All-Star reliever with hopes of finding past success. Reliever Brad Boxberger is just the newest name the Nationals have added to the list according to Barry Svrluga of The Washington Post.
The Nationals are still looking for bullpen help even after signing both Jonny Venters and Fernando Rodney when they were released by their respective clubs.
The Nationals have tried their best to patch the eighth inning woes they face on a nightly basis but haven’t found a solution yet. The Nats are hoping that Boxberger will pan out once (or if) he finds his confidence in the minors.
Boxberger, 31, started the season with the Kansas City Royals before he was released due to poor play. Boxberger recorded a 5.40 ERA in 29 games but appeared to be somewhat unlucky at times as his FIP sat at 4.66. Boxberger showed that he had trouble closing out games as he blew three saves in only four opportunities.
Boxberger only pitched in 26.2 innings but racked up 27 strikeouts. It was just four seasons ago when Boxberger led the league in saves with the Rays in 2015 after starting the season as the set-up man.
After showing promise and success with the Rays from 2014 to 2017, Boxberger struggled last season with the Diamondbacks recording a 4.39 ERA in 60 games. Boxberger was replaced as the Diamondbacks closer late in the season after blowing eight saves in 40 opportunities.
The bullpen is currently the worst in the majors in terms of ERA which currently sits at 6.08. Washington hasn’t yet found a solution and will likely need to make a trade for an elite bullpen before the trade deadline if they want to remain competitive down the stretch.