Now Commenting On:

{"content":["winter_meetings" ] }

Nats bring back left-handed reliever Duke

Nationals bring back left-handed reliever Duke

Nats bring back left-handed reliever Duke
NASHVILLE, Tenn. -- The Nationals added two left-handed relievers on Monday, re-signing Zach Duke to a Major League contract, the team announced, and giving Bill Bray a Minor League deal, MLB.com has learned.

Entering the Winter Meetings, Washington didn't have one lefty reliever, as Duke, Sean Burnett, Michael Gonzalez and Tom Gorzelanny had all become free agents.

Duke was a September callup this past season and was productive, allowing two earned runs in 13 2/3 innings with 10 strikeouts. Duke most likely will be a long reliever, replacing Gorzelanny.

"We are going to keep him stretched out in Spring Training and see where we are at with the fifth starter spot," general manager Mike Rizzo said. "He will give us some depth, a guy who has started in the past. I think the same could be said for Christian Garcia. Duke will be in the mix for a fifth starting job or at least starting depth. If not, he will [be the long reliever manager] Davey [Johnson] likes in the bullpen."

Duke is best known as a starter with the Pirates. His best season was 2005, his rookie year, when he went 8-2 with a 1.81 ERA.

This will be Bray's second stint with the Nationals organization. He was the Expos' first-round pick in the 2004 First-Year Player Draft before being traded to the Reds in July 2006 as part of an eight-player trade that sent outfielder Austin Kearns to the Nats.

This past season, Bray missed a lot of time due to injuries. The best season of his career came in 2011, when he went 5-3 with a 2.98 ERA.

Bill Ladson is a reporter for MLB.com and writes an MLBlog, All Nats All the time. He also could be found on Twitter @WashingNats. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

{"content":["winter_meetings" ] }
{"content":["winter_meetings" ] }
Boys and Girls Club of America

©2014 MLBAM, LP. All rights reserved.

The following are trademarks or service marks of Major League Baseball entities and may be used only with permission of Major League Baseball Properties, Inc. or the relevant Major League Baseball entity: Major League, Major League Baseball, MLB, the silhouetted batter logo, World Series, National League, American League, Division Series, League Championship Series, All-Star Game, and the names, nicknames, logos, uniform designs, color combinations, and slogans designating the Major League Baseball clubs and entities, and their respective mascots, events and exhibitions. Use of the Website signifies your agreement to the Terms of Use and Privacy Policy (updated May 24, 2013).

View MLB.com in English | En Español