The Nationals and right-hander Derek Law have agreed to a minor league deal with an invite to big league camp, per Robert Murray of FanSided. The CAA Sports client will earn a salary of $1.5MM if added to the roster and there’s also $500K available via incentives as well as three opt-out opportunities.
Law, 33, posted solid results for the Reds last year, logging 55 innings while allowing 3.60 earned runs per nine. However, he may have been lucky to do so, as his 18.8% strikeout rate, 10.8% walk rate and 39.5% ground ball rate were all below league average. The baseball gods could have been smiling on him a bit, as his .275 batting average on balls in play and 77.9% strand rate were both on the fortunate side.
His 4.62 FIP and 4.82 SIERA suggested he may not have been able to continue keeping runs off the board at the rate that he did last year. The Reds may have agreed, as they decided to non-tender Law instead of keeping him around via arbitration. MLBTR contributor Matt Swartz projected a modest $1.4MM salary but the Reds cut him loose instead.
The Nats are rebuilding and should have innings available for relievers at some point this year. Kyle Finnegan, Hunter Harvey, Tanner Rainey and Dylan Floro are the only relievers on the roster with more than three years in the big leagues. If any of them are throwing well this summer, they could find themselves on the the trade block, since the Nats aren’t expected to be in contention. Floro is on a one-year deal while each of Finnegan, Harvey and Rainey are set to become free agents after 2025.
Law is a veteran journeyman who debuted back in 2016, having suited up for the Giants, Blue Jays, Twins and Tigers before joining the Reds. He has thrown 256 innings in the majors with a 4.08 ERA. He would be a logical fit on a club that’s lacking in experience, though he’ll have competition from other non-roster invitees like Richard Bleier, Luis Perdomo, Jacob Barnes and others. If Law doesn’t end up on the roster, the opt-outs give up some ability to pursue other opportunities, though the exact dates of those opt-outs haven’t been reported.