Nationals agree to terms with left-hander Zach Duke

The Washington Nationals today agreed to terms with free-agent left-handed pitcher Zach Duke on a one-year contact. Nationals Executive Vice President of Baseball Operations and General Manager Mike Rizzo made the announcement.

A 2009 National League All-Star, Duke is 49-74 with a 4.52 ERA (530 ER/1054.2 IP) in 189 games/168 starts spanning eight big league seasons with Washington, Arizona and Pittsburgh. He has twice posted a double-digit win total (11 in 2009, 10 in '06) and thrice (2006, '08, '09) started at least 30 big league contests in a season (he also started 29 games for the Pirates in 2010).

The 29 year-old Duke returns for a second season with the Nationals.

Last year, Duke signed with Washington as a minor-league free agent on March 29 and spent the majority of the year with Triple-A Syracuse, but also excelled out of the bullpen during a September stint with the Nationals. In eight appearances or 13.2 innings with Washington, Duke fashioned a 1.32 ERA by allowing just 11 hits, walking four and fanning 10.

Duke had his contract selected by Washington on September 3 after going 15-5 with a 3.51 ERA in 26 Triple-A starts for Syracuse. Duke paced the International League with the 15 wins and his 164.1 innings ranked fourth. He represented the Chiefs in the 2012 Triple-A All-Star Game in Buffalo, NY.