The made official the signing of five previously-reported minor league signings on Tuesday, announcing minor league deals with left-handers Fernando Abad, Bill Bray and Brandon Mann, right-handers Ross Ohlendorf and infielder Will Rhymes. All five were given non-roster invites to major league spring training.
The Nationals also extended invitations to major league spring training to five of their minor league players, including left-hander Pat McCoy, right-hander Tanner Roark, catcher Carlos Maldonado, first baseman/third baseman Matt Skole and infielder Zach Walters.
Pitchers and catchers will report to Viera, Fla., on Feb. 12 with the full squad expected to report by Feb. 15 and the Nationals will now have at least 50 players in major league camp when that happens. Nationals manager Davey Johnson has said he’d like to keep the number of players in camp fairly low and didn’t anticipate the team bringing more than 50-55 players to camp.
Abad, Bray and Mann will likely compete for a role as a lefty reliever in the Nationals’ bullpen with Ohlendorf and Rhymes likely serving as depth in their respective areas.
From the Nationals:
Abad went 1-5 with 16 holds and a 4.62 ERA in 82 relief appearances the last three seasons (2010-12) with Houston. The 27-year-old had a 3.80 ERA in 31 relief outings with the Astros in 2012.
Bray returns to the organization that selected him in the first round (13th overall) of the 2004 draft. He is 13-12 with a 3.74 ERA in 258 career relief appearances with Cincinnati (2006-08, ’10-12) and Washington (2006). The 29-year-old dealt with injury through much of the 2012 season with the Reds.
Pitching for Yokohama in Japan’s Central League, Mann had a 4.27 ERA in 28 games/17 starts the last two seasons (2011-12). The 28-year-old went 3-0 with one save and a 4.88 ERA in 37 relief appearances with Inland Empire of the Single-A California League during his last season in the U.S.
Ohlendorf is 18-32 with a 5.10 ERA in 108 games/73 starts in six big league seasons with the Padres (2012), Pirates (’08-11) and Yankees (2007-08). The 30-year-old won 11 games for Pittsburgh in 2009. He finished 4-4 in 13 games/six starts for San Diego in 2012.
Rhymes, 29, is a career .266 hitter with a .328 on-base percentage, 17 doubles, four triples, two home runs and 29 RBI in 130 MLB contests with Detroit (2010-12) and Tampa Bay (’13). A resident of Alexandria, Va., Rhymes posted a .299 on-base percentage and eight RBI in 47 games last season with the Rays.