Despite posting a ridiculous 2.22 ERA in 96 appearances for the Pittsburgh Pirates and Los Angeles Dodgers over the past two seasons, it took well into Spring Training before veteran pitcher Joe Blanton inked a contract with a Major League club.
That came on Tuesday when Blanton, 36, signed a one-year, $4 million contract with the Washington Nationals. This somewhat stabilizes an otherwise questionable bullpen with Blanton likely being tasked with late-inning set-up work.
Washington's closer situation remains up in the air with the likes of Blake Treinen, Shawn Kelley and Koda Glover battling it out for that spot during the spring. It would also appear that Blanton, Joe Nathan and Matt Albers are on the outside looking in here.
This is relatively important from a fantasy perspective. As we saw with the San Francisco Giants last season, questionable late-inning relief could have a major impact on how starters perform in the fake baseball world. Unless this is somewhat stabilized, questions will continue to remain regarding the likes of Max Scherzer, Gio Gonzalez and Stephen Strasburg.