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Nationals, right-hander Jeremy Hellickson agree to $1.3 million deal

Washington Nationals' pitcher Jeremy Hellickson pitches against the Atlanta Braves during the first inning of a baseball game, Saturday, Sept. 15, 2018, in Atlanta. (AP Photo/John Amis)

Right-hander Jeremy Hellickson and the Washington Nationals have finalized their $1.3 million, one-year contract, a deal that allows him to earn $4 million in performance bonuses for starts.

The 31-year-old was 5-3 with a 3.45 ERA in 19 starts for Washington last season, when he earned just over $2.9 million, including $1.1 million in bonuses.

Hellickson is 74-72 with a 4.07 ERA in the majors, and the Nationals are Hellickson's fifth club in a big league career that began in 2010 with the Tampa Bay Rays.

He is expected to be the front-runner to claim the No. 5 spot in Washington's starting rotation, following Max Scherzer, Stephen Strasburg, Patrick Corbin and Anibal Sanchez.

Hellickson can earn $200,000 each for starts 3, 5, 7, 9, 11, 12, 14, 16, 18, 21 and 23, and $300,000 apiece for 25-30.

Washington cleared a roster spot by designating right-hander Trevor Gott for assignment on Friday. He was 0-2 with a 5.68 ERA in 20 relief appearances last year.

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