The Washington Nationals agreed to terms on a three-year contract with right-handed pitcher Will Harris on Friday. Nationals President of Baseball Operations and General Manager Mike Rizzo made the announcement.
Harris, 35, joins the Nationals after going 4-1 with four saves and a 1.50 ERA in 68 games for the Houston Astros in 2019. He struck out 62 batters, walked 14 and posted a .196 opponents’ batting average in his eighth Major League season.
Harris’ 1.50 ERA (10 ER/60.0 IP) led American League relievers and ranked second among all MLB relief pitchers. He also ranked among American League relievers in opponents’ OPS (5th, .540), opponents’ on-base percentage (6th, .246), opponents’ slugging percentage (6th, .294), WHIP (8th, 0.93) and holds (T8th, 26).
From July 13 through the end of the season, Harris pitched to a 0.99 ERA (3 ER/27.1 IP) with four saves, 13 holds, 36 strikeouts, six walks and a .143 opponents’ batting average. All three earned runs came via solo home runs, with the last one coming on Aug. 30 at Toronto.
In the 2019 Postseason, Harris recorded a 1.86 ERA (2 ER/9.2 IP) with 11 strikeouts and one walk in 12 outings as the Astros fell to the Nationals in the 2019 World Series. Harris has appeared in 23 career Postseason games dating to 2015, recording one save, 10 holds and a 4.08 ERA (8 ER/17.2 IP) along the way.
Following the 2019 season, the Houston Chapter of the Baseball Writers’ Association of America named Harris the winner of the Darryl Kile Good Guy Award for his outstanding season on the mound as well as his professionalism and accountability in the clubhouse.
Since joining the Astros in 2015, Harris ranks third among Major League relievers with a 2.36 ERA. He is 18-13 with 20 saves, 9.5 strikeouts per 9.0 innings and a 0.99 WHIP during this span.
An American League All-Star in 2016, Harris has pitched parts of eight Major League seasons with the Astros (2015-19), Arizona Diamondbacks (2013-14) and Colorado Rockies (2012). He is 23-18 with 20 saves and a 2.84 ERA in 419 career games. Harris was originally selected in the ninth round of the 2006 First-Year Player Draft out of Louisiana State University.
Washington now has 34 players on its 40-man roster.