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Washington also signed right-hander Jason Simontacchi to a minor league contract and will give him a chance to win a spot in the major league rotation this spring.

Simontacchi was a surprise 11-game winner for St. Louis in 2002 but hasn’t pitched in the majors since undergoing surgery to repair a torn labrum in 2004. Now 33, he caught the eye of Nationals scouts this winter by going 3-1 with a 2.02 ERA for Estrellas del Oriente in the Dominican Republic.

“Our people feel that he’s coming back,” Bowden said. “And certainly given the status of our rotation right now … we’ll give Jason a chance to compete for a spot in our rotation.”