Once an integral part of the Dodgers bullpen, Joe Blanton is departing for enemy waters.
Blanton will sign with the Nationals, according to the Washington Post.
The Nationals have signed Joe Blanton to a one-year deal, per source. He's in town today, presumably for his physical.
— Jorge Castillo (@jorgeccastillo) February 28, 2017
Nats agree with Joe blanton $4M 1-year some deferred @jorgeccastillo 1st
— Jon Heyman (@JonHeyman) February 28, 2017
For most of the winter it was reported the Dodgers were interested in retaining Blanton, but would only offer a single year. L.A. decided to sign Sergio Romo instead, leaving Blanton standing at the end of reliever musical chairs.
Blanton had a successful 2016, but it will be remembered for two poor showings against the Cubs in the NLCS more than the bigger picture.
It’s unclear if Blanton requested more than one year in negotiations with Los Angeles, but it’s what he’ll receive with Washington. He’ll also have a bigger opportunity. The Nationals’ bullpen is considered its weakest point, with closer a serious hole. Blanton may be able to work his way into that role, or at least a few chances at it during the season.