MLB Baseball

Lefty reliever Sipp passes physical, signs with Nationals

(AP Photo/David J. Phillip)

By HOWARD FENDRICH

AP Sports Writer

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. (AP) Left-handed reliever Tony Sipp has passed his physical and signed a one-year contract with the Washington Nationals that guarantees him $1.25 million and includes a mutual option for 2020.

The Nationals announced an agreement with Sipp on Thursday.

The 35-year-old Sipp was 3-1 with a career-best 1.86 ERA in 54 games for the Houston Astros last season, with 42 strikeouts and 13 walks in 38 2/3 innings.

Lefty batters hit .191 with a .263 on-base percentage against Sipp in 2018.

Sipp makes a $1 million salary in 2019. The contract includes a $2.5 million mutual option for next year, with a $250,000 buyout.

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 NL East rival Philadelphia.

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Updated March 14, 2019

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