WASHINGTON -- Former All-Star closer John Wetteland was
hired by the Washington Nationals as their bullpen coach on Friday.
Wetteland, who played for the Montreal Expos, was a roving
pitching instructor for the Texas Rangers the past three seasons.
"I couldn't be more pleased to add one of the best young
pitching minds in baseball to our coaching staff," Nationals
general manager Jim Bowden said. "John's high energy, passion,
temperament and knowledge will provide invaluable resources for all
of our pitchers."
Wetteland was 48-45 with 330 saves and a 2.93 ERA for four major
league teams from 1989-00. His save total ranks ninth in baseball
He saved 105 games for the Expos from 1992-94, and ranks fourth
on the franchise's career saves list. His 43 saves in 1993 was the
team record until Chad Cordero finished with 47 last season for
Wetteland was the MVP of the 1996 World Series with the New York
Yankees, saving all four of the team's victories against Atlanta.
Washington also agreed to a one-year contract with right-hander
Francis Beltran and to minor league contracts with first baseman
Daryle Ward and left-handed reliever Valerio del los Santos.
The 30-year-old Ward hit .260 with 12 homers and 63 RBIs for
Pittsburgh last season. De los Santos, 33, is 9-12 with a 4.54 ERA
in nine major league seasons; he went 1-2 with a 6.14 ERA for
Florida in 2005.