Washington Nationals Sign Brendan Ryan To Minor League Deal

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Aug 31, 2015; Boston, MA, USA; New York Yankees second baseman Brendan Ryan (17) fields a ground ball during the first inning against the Boston Red Sox at Fenway Park. Mandatory Credit: Bob DeChiara-USA TODAY Sports
Aug 31, 2015; Boston, MA, USA; New York Yankees second baseman Brendan Ryan (17) fields a ground ball during the first inning against the Boston Red Sox at Fenway Park. Mandatory Credit: Bob DeChiara-USA TODAY Sports /
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Today, the Nats added another infielder by signing Brendan Ryan to a minor league deal

The Washington Nationals added another infielder today when they signed Brendan Ryan to a minor league deal with an invitation to spring training. Ryan, who will be 34 in March, had a slash line of .229/.275/.333 with eight RBI’s in 47 games for the New York Yankees last season. Ryan had been dealt to the Chicago Cubs earlier this winter as the player to be named later in the Starlin CastroAdam Warren deal, but the Cubs ended up releasing him a week later:

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The St. Louis Cardinals selected Ryan in the seventh round of the 2003 MLB Draft. He would play four seasons with St. Louis (2007-2010) and hit .259 with nine home runs, 95 RBI’s, and stole 39 bases. He did have two seasons in St. Louis where he hit over .280 (.289 in 2007 and .292 in 2009). Then, in December 2010, St. Louis dealt Ryan to Seattle.

With the Mariners, Ryan had a career batting average of .215 from 2011-2013 and he never had his batting average above .248 in any season. In 2011, Ryan did have a WAR of 4.0, which was the best on the team. Seattle would deal Ryan to the Yankees in September of 2013.

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While Ryan doesn’t bring a lot to the table with his bat, he is a versatile infielder who is known for his defense. He is known for being a shortstop, but Ryan has also played second base, third base, and first base for the last couple of years with the Yankees. Ryan had 27 defensive runs saved with Seattle in 2012, which was the best in the game that year (according to Fangraphs).

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Plus, Ryan does have some familiarity with one of the players on the Nats. He was part of the Yankees’ infield in 2014 with Stephen Drew when Drew was dealt from the Red Sox to the Yankees at the trade deadline. Drew signed a one-year, $3 million deal with the Nats back in December.

Even though Ryan will be competing for a roster spot, he is one of those players who can help Trea Turner at shortstop with his defense during spring training in Viera. If he does make the team, he provides versatility for the Washington Nationals at a couple of positions whether it is backing up Danny Espinosa/Drew at shortstop, Daniel Murphy at second base, or Anthony Rendon at third base.

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