The Nationals have signed right-hander Evan Meek to a minor league deal with an invite to big league Spring Training, reports MLB.com’s Bill Ladson (on Twitter). Meek is a client of Relativity Sports.
The 31-year-old Meek isn’t quite as flashy as the Nats’ most recent pickup, but he is a former All-Star setup man. From 2009-11 with the Pirates, Meek posted a strong 2.74 ERA in 147 2/3 innings of work, though other metrics such as his 7.9 K/9, 4.4 BB/9 and 3.58 FIP in that time indicate that he was likely overperforming a bit. A shoulder injury limited Meek to 12 innings in 2012, and he spent the 2013 season with the Rangers’ Triple-A affiliate (somewhat curiously starting 15 games despite spending nearly all of his career as a reliever).
Meek was with the Orioles in 2014, but he struggled after breaking camp with the team and found himself outrighted to Triple-A in early June. From there, he went on to dominate at the Triple-A level, posting a 1.94 ERA with 8.0 K/9 and 0.9 BB/9 in 41 2/3 innings of work. That earned him a September call-up, but while he got better results in the season’s final month, he still finished with a 5.79 ERA in 23 1/3 big league innings. He’ll compete for a job in a Nats bullpen that features Drew Storen in the closer’s role in front of setup options such as Craig Stammen, Jerry Blevins, Matt Thornton, Blake Treinen and possibly Tanner Roark, who could be bullpen-bound following Washington’s addition of Max Scherzer.