Badenhop, who just turned 33, hit the open market when the Reds declined a club option at the start of the offseason. He didn’t turn in his finest campaign in his single season in Cincinnati, working to a 3.93 ERA with 4.9 K/9, 2.7 BB/9, and a 46.7% groundball rate. But he was much better after a rough opening run to the season.
That overall output fell shy of the good work Badenhop provided in the 2012-14 period. Over 195 1/3 innings logged in that span, he posted a cumulative 2.90 ERA while inducing grounders on over half of the balls put in play against him (topping out at 61% in 2014).
While he’ll have to earn his position on the Nats roster, the 6’5 sinkerballer should have his fair share of opportunity. Washington has reworked its entire pen, and still seems to have some slots up for grabs. Badenhop will likely compete with fellow veterans Yusmeiro Petit and Matt Belisle, along with younger incumbents such as Blake Treinen and Felipe Rivero, to round out the relief corps.
(By the way, if you’re interested in learning more about Badenhop, check out the interview he gave on the MLBTR Podcast last winter.)