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Nats sign Joe Beimel to be setup man


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VIERA, Fla. (AP) - The Washington Nationals added reliever Joe Beimel on Wednesday and released oft-injured starter Shawn Hill, who beat the team in salary arbitration.

Beimel, a left-hander who turns 32 next month, got a $2 million, one-year contract and will become the primary setup man for closer Joel Hanrahan.

"I have my eighth-inning guy," manager Manny Acta said. "We were very actively pursuing him in the offseason. He had a couple of good seasons in L.A. He's effective against left-handers and right-handers."

Beimel was 5-1 with a 2.02 ERA in 71 appearances for the Dodgers last year, his third season with Los Angeles. He also pitched for Tampa Bay, Minnesota and Pittsburgh, going 21-23 with a 4.31 ERA in eight major league seasons.

Hill receives $127,049 in termination pay rather than the $775,000 salary he was awarded on Feb. 7 following an arbitration hearing. The team had offered $500,000.

"We go way back since Montreal days, and he's the type of guy that every manager would wish to have 20 of him on his club," Acta said. "It's a baseball decision. We're moving on with our plan. There was a lot of uncertainty. It was a really tough day."

Hill made $402,000 last year, when he went 1-5 with a 5.83 ERA in 12 starts. He went on the disabled list in June because of a sore elbow and had arthroscopic surgery in September.

A right-hander who turns 28 next month, Hill has pitched in only 38 games over the past three seasons. He missed the 2005 season after elbow ligament replacement surgery, was out for part of 2006 because of soreness in his right elbow and made only 16 starts in 2007 because of an injured left shoulder and a compressed nerve in his right forearm.

He has a 7-15 record with a 4.93 ERA.

Hill's agent, Adam Katz, declined comment.

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