Nationals Sign Three to Minor League Deals, Extend 12 Spring Training Invites


Washington Nationals GM Mike Rizzo has had a busy few days as the team continues to fill out and improve the roster with Christmas approaching. We’ve already discussed the minor league contracts handed out over the past week to Jeff Fulchino, Jason Michaels, Andres Blanco, Waldis Joaquin, and Jarrett Hoffpauir. This morning the team announced that they have agreed to sign three more players to minor league contracts – Chad Tracy, Brett Carroll, and Xavier Paul.

Tracy, 31, spent the 2011 season playing in Japan for the Hiroshima Carp. In 164 plate appearances he batted .235/.293/.336 with a home run and 19 RBI. From 2004-2010 he batted .278/.337/.445 with 79 HR and 333 RBI in 2,747 plate appearances, mostly with the Arizona Diamondbacks. Tracy is primarily a third baseman but he does have experience at both first base and right field.

Carroll, 29, spent the bulk of his career with the Marlins before spending 2011 split between the Milwaukee and Boston organizations. Collectively he batted .270/.345/.447 with 16 HR and 63 RBI in 475 plate appearances on the year at Triple-A. In 322 career MLB plate appearances from 2007-2011 he’s a .203/.281/.322 hitter with 5 HR and 28 RBI. Carroll has experience at all three outfield positions.

Paul, who’ll be 27 in February, was let go by the Pirates at the end of the 2011 season in order to create room on the team’s 40-man roster. In 411 career MLB plate appearances (most of which came this past season) he’s a .246/.288/.341 hitter with 3 HR and 32 RBI. He is also an outfielder, though he’s mostly just played the corner positions.

In addition to the above 8 players, the team also confirmed four additional players who have been extended invitations to Spring Training. This includes catchers Carlos Maldonado and Sandy Leon, right-handed pitcher Rafael Martin, and outfielder Corey Brown.

Maldonado, 33 in January, actually appeared in 4 games for the Nationals last season, batting 3 for 11 with a home run. He actually resigned with the team on a minor league contract back in November, just two weeks after being released by the organization. Leon, 23 in March, spent 2011 with Washington’s High-A affiliate in Potomac, batting .251/.312/.362 with 6 HR and 43 RBI in 416 plate appearances.

Martin went a combined 5-1 with a 1.65 ERA and 11.1 K/9 in 43.2 innings out of the bullpen between High-A and Double-A in 2011. The 27 year old completed just his second season with the Nationals organization, after spending three years pitching in the Mexican League.

Finally, Brown was outrighted off the team’s 40-man roster at the end of the 2011 season. He made his MLB Debut this past season, going 0 for 3 in three appearances. In Triple-A he did bat .235/.326/.402 with 14 HR and 39 RBI in 462 plate appearances. Brown, 26, had been acquired last winter in the trade that sent Josh Willingham to Oakland.