Nats add lefty Sam Clay, looking for bullpen help

WASHINGTON (AP) — Looking for left-handed help in the bullpen, the Washington Nationals have reached agreement with longtime minor leaguer Sam Clay on a one-year contract.

The Nationals made the announcement Wednesday.

The 27-year-old Clay spent seven seasons in the Minnesota system. He was part of the Twins’ 60-player pool this year but hasn’t pitched in the majors.

Clay reached Triple-A for the first time in his career in 2019 while also spending time in Double-A. He went a combined 4-4 with 10 saves and a 3.25 ERA and led all minor leaguers with a groundball rate of 71.3%.

Clay has given up just one home run in 188 2-3 innings since the start of the 2017 season.

This season, the Nationals took a similar chance with reliever Kyle Finnegan, who had spent seven years in Oakland’s minor league system without ever making the majors. The 29-year-old righty was 1-0 with a 2.92 ERA in 25 games for Washington in the pandemic-shortened season.

Clay will get $575,000 in the majors and $90,000 in the minors.

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