In the last two days the Nationals have signed infielder Alex Cora, relief pitcher Cla Meredith and outfielder Laynce Nix to minor league deals with invitations to spring training.
Alex Cora 35, is a 13 year veteran who spent the 2010 season playing for the Mets (62 games) and Rangers (4 games) while having seen playing time at 1b, 2b, 3b and ss. Cora had a very unimpressive 2010 season having posted a .210 batting average with a .266 on base percentage. Cora who was released by both the Mets and the Rangers in 2010. Personally I would not expect much out of Cora who is coming off a horrible season and is only .244 lifetime hitter. If he makes the team out of spring training it will be as utility infielder type of player off the bench.
Cla Meredith 27, is coming off of a rather disappointing 2010 season 5.14 era in 21 games of relief pitching with the Orioles but is still fairly young and comes with 283. 1 innings worth of bullpen experience over 286 games. Meredith is a ground-ball pitcher with a career 3.62 era in the majors. The Nationals bullpen was already pretty good coming in to this off season and the Nationals have spent the off season adding even more depth to it. So he will have some tough competition in trying to find a spot but I’d still say he is worth at least keeping an eye on this spring.
Laynce Nix 30, has struggled with injuries as well as at the plate throughout most of his career. He is a career .243 hitter with a .286 on base percentage and has played in 483 major league games over the last 8 seasons. He does come up with some positive potential upsides such as the fact that he posted a .291 batting average and a .350 on base percentage while playing in 97 games for the Reds in 2010. His power fell off but the fact that his avg was 43 points higher than his previous career high and his obp was 57 points higher than his previous career high is definitely at least worth a mention. He also has a cannon for an arm in the outfield and had a UZR/150 rating of 33 in 2010 so he definitely has the ability to make some plays in the field. I definitely don’t see him starting for the Nationals but it should be interesting to see if he can manage to land a roster spot out of Spring Training.