AP source: Nats, lefty reliever Sipp agree to .25M deal

AP source: Nats, lefty reliever Sipp agree to .25M deal
FILE - In this Oct. 16, 2018, file photo, Houston Astros relief pitcher Tony Sipp throws against the Boston Red Sox during the sixth inning in Game 3 of a baseball American League Championship Series, in Houston. A person familiar with the deal tells The Associated Press that left-handed reliever Tony Sipp and the Washington Nationals have agreed in principle on a one-year contract that guarantees $1.25 million and includes a mutual option for 2020. The person spoke on condition of anonymity Wednesday, March 13, 2019, because the deal was pending the successful completion of a physical exam. (AP Photo/David J. Phillip, File)

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. (AP) — The Washington Nationals are counting on Tony Sipp to give them something their bullpen lacked: a lefty reliever to go after lefty hitters in late-game situations.

A person familiar with the deal told The Associated Press on Wednesday that Sipp and the Nationals agreed in principle on a one-year contract for 2019 that guarantees .25 million and includes a mutual option for 2020.

The person spoke on condition of anonymity because the deal was pending the successful completion of a physical exam.

Sipp would get a million salary this year, and the contract includes a .5 million mutual option for next year, with a ,000 buyout. There are not any performance bonuses.

This move gives Washington’s rebuilt bullpen someone to use in a key spot against left-handed batters — such as Bryce Harper, the former Nationals slugger who joined the NL East rival Philadelphia Phillies as a free agent for million over 13 seasons. Solis and Harper have never faced each other.

The Nationals were in the market for a left-handed reliever after releasing Sammy Solis last weekend. Solis agreed to a minor league contract with the San Diego Padres.

The 35-year-old Sipp is entering his 11th season.

He has a 25-20 career record with a 3.67 ERA and 513 strikeouts in 482 2/3 innings spanning 580 appearances for Cleveland, Arizona and Houston, all in relief.

Last season with the Astros, Sipp was 3-1 with a 1.86 ERA, holding lefty hitters to a .191 batting average.

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