Nationals sign outfielder Derrick Robinson to minor-league deal

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Aug 2, 2013; Cincinnati, OH, USA; Cincinnati Reds left fielder

Derrick Robinson

(15) breaks for second base during the first inning against the St. Louis Cardinals at Great American Ball Park. Mandatory Credit: Frank Victores-USA TODAY Sports

The Washington Nationals made headlines earlier this week for their big acquisition of free agent Max Scherzer, but the team continues to add depth for the 2015 season through minor league deals – a trend that continued today.

According to MLB.com’s Bill Ladson, the Nationals have signed outfielder Derrick Robinson to a minor league deal. The deal does not include an invitation to big league spring training.

Robinson, 27, was originally drafted by the Kansas City Royals in the fourth round of the 2006 First-Year Player Draft. Robinson went on to spend eight years in the minor leagues – seven in the Royals’ farm system, one with the Cincinnati Reds.

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The switch-hitting outfielder finally made his big league debut with the Reds in 2013 and he had a solid first year at the plate. Robinson hit .255 with 10 extra-base hits and eight RBIs in 216 plate appearances with Cincinnati.

But that was all the outfielder would accomplish with the Reds, as shoulder surgery forced him to miss the entire 2014 season.

Since his deal does not include an invite to major league Spring Training, Robinson will almost certainly start the 2015 season in the minor leagues and we’ll probably only see him in the majors if the team’s outfielders were to miss significant time on the disabled list.

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The Nationals’ outfield is a bit concerning right now, given the fact that Jayson Werth – who is recovering from shoulder surgery – may not be ready to join the club by Opening Day. If that were to happen, however, the Nationals have several young players who could step in as needed, such as Michael Taylor and Brian Goodwin.

While Robinson probably won’t see much time in the big leagues next season, today’s signing gives the team some more outfield depth, and that almost always comes in handy over the course of a 162-game season.

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