Source: Hudson returning to Nats on two-year deal

Turns out last week's signing of Will Harris didn't prohibit the Nationals from bringing back Daniel Hudson.

Hudson and the Nats are finalizing a new deal that would keep the veteran reliever in D.C. for two more seasons at the fairly reasonable price of $11 million (plus incentives), a source familiar with the terms confirmed this afternoon.

Hudson-Throws-Blue-WS-G1-Sidebar.jpgOnce completed, Hudson would rejoin a Nationals bullpen that on paper looks much stronger now than it did for most of the 2019 season, when it ranked among the majors' worst units. Along with Harris - the former Astros setup man who signed a three-year, $24 million deal last week - and returning closer Sean Doolittle, the Nats would have three experienced late-inning relievers who all have had success against hitters from both sides of the plate.

Doolittle, Hudson and Harris would join another group of returning arms that includes Tanner Rainey, Wander Suero, Hunter Strickland and Roenis Elías to give the Nationals a potentially deep and talented relief corps after they were forced to piece things together during their World Series run.

Hudson, though, is hardly a sure thing. Though the 32-year-old excelled last season with the Blue Jays and eventually the Nationals following his July 31 acquisition, his numbers (2.47 ERA, 1.137 WHIP in 69 appearances) were not in line with his career marks. Over the previous four seasons with the Diamondbacks, Pirates and Dodgers, Hudson owned a 4.39 ERA and 1.366 WHIP.

Because of that, the Nats appeared to prioritize the addition of Harris (who ranks among the top four relievers in the majors over the last five seasons in ERA and WHIP) over the re-signing of Hudson. But the club's willingness to offer a two-year deal, and Hudson's willingness to perhaps accept less than he might have been offered elsewhere, allowed the two sides to find common terms.

There's no denying Hudson's importance to the Nationals' championship success last season. Acquired from Toronto for Single-A right-hander Kyle Johnston, he initially was to be used in a "fireman" role as someone who could be summoned to pitch his way out of jams. Hudson excelled at that, successfully stranding 36 of 42 inherited baserunners during the season.

But as Doolittle labored and was forced to the injured list in August, Hudson surprisingly took over closing duties and for the first time in his career thrived as a ninth-inning reliever. He converted six of eight save opportunities in the regular season and in 24 appearances for the Nationals posted a sparkling 1.44 ERA and 0.880 WHIP.

Hudson and Doolittle wound up sharing closing duties in October, and the righty opened his postseason with four saves and six scoreless appearances. He would end up recording the final out of the wild card game, National League Championship Series and World Series, forever etching his place in franchise lore. was first to report Hudson's new deal.

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