The Nationals began to address their bullpen today at the winter meetings, specifically from the left side. Washington re-signing veteran Zach Duke and bringing back former Nat Bill Bray.
The 29 year old Duke had an outstanding season at Triple-A Syracuse last season, going 15-5 with a 3.51 ERA. Duke also did well in September with the parent club. Duke may assume the role held by Tom Gorzellany last season. Duke began his career in Pittsburgh.
Bray, also 29 years old, was a first round pick of the Montreal Expos in 2004. The Nats traded him to Cincinnati in 2006 in the eight player Austin Kearns deal. Bray was injured much of 2012, but was very effective the previous season. Bray posted an ERA of 2.98 in 79 appearances, averaging more than eight strikeouts per nine innings of work.
With the re-signing of first baseman Adam LaRoche beginning to look a bit more promising, the Nats may use Mike Morse to acquire more bullpen help. The team believes that Sean Burnett is going to be more expensive than they are ready to spend. The club could bring back Mike Gonzalez or explore a trade for Milwaukee's Manny Parra who has a tremendous upside.