Soriano will pitch the ninth, and Tyler Clippard and Drew Storen will pitch in setup roles for Washington. All three are difficult to hit, but losing lefty Sean Burnett will hurt the Nats, whose only lefties on the roster are Bill Bray and converted starter Zach Duke.
Bray has held Ryan Howard hitless in 13 at-bats, striking him out seven times, so Davey Johnson probably isn't too concerned. But the problem could present itself at some point, especially with all of the lefty power in the NL East (Howard, Chase Utley, Jason Heyward, Brian McCann, Freddie Freeman, Ike Davis).
What is interesting about Soriano's deal -- which on the surface looks like an overpayment -- is that combined with his previous contract with the Yankees, it makes for a four-year, $49 commitment to Soriano. That is $1 million less than the guaranteed portion of Jonathan Papelbon's four-year deal, which in retrospect, looks better. Papelbon has a better career ERA, WHIP, K/9, BB/9 and HR/9 than Soriano. Obviously Papelbon's contract came from one team while Soriano's came from two, but Soriano making that much money in two separate markets is either a testament to Scott Boras or a semi-justification of Papelbon's deal.
Payments and platoon splits aside, Soriano will boost a Nationals' bullpen that looked a bit thin prior to Tuesday afternoon. He had 42 saves and a 2.26 ERA for the Yankees last season, and in 2010 had 45 saves and a 1.73 ERA for the Rays.