- The Washington Times - Friday, December 26, 2014

The Washington Nationals have signed veteran second baseman Dan Uggla to a minor-league contract with an invitation to spring training, one of several such deals announced by the team Friday.

The Nationals also signed infielder Ian Stewart, first baseman Clint Robinson, and right-handed pitchers Health Bell, Mitch Lively and Scott McGregor to minor league deals. The additions of Bell and Stewart had been previously reported by multiple media outlets.

Uggla, who will turn 35 in March, spent most of the past four seasons with the Atlanta Braves before being released in July after unsuccessful attempts to trade him to another team. He was picked up by the San Francisco Giants and did not register a hit in 12 plate appearances over four games.

Over the past two years, Uggla hit .171 in 694 plate appearances with 101 hits and 217 strikeouts.

A longtime Miami Marlin, Uggla was once listed among the best power-hitting second basemen in the league, recording at least 25 home runs in each of his first six major league seasons. He was a three-time all-star and won the 2010 Silver Slugger award.

Nationals general manager Mike Rizzo was Arizona’s scouting director when the Diamondbacks drafted Uggla in the 11th round of the 2001 draft. 

Uggla joins utility man Kevin Frandsen and reserve middle infielder Danny Epsinosa in the competition for Washington’s starting job at second base, though the team will likely continue to address that position in the remainder of the offseason. Stewart, who was most recently with the Los Angeles Angels, also has experience playing second base.

The 36-year-old Bell has played with four teams in the last four seasons and had a 7.27 earned-run average in 13 games with the Tampa Bay Rays last year. McGregor, 27, and Lively, 28, both finished last season at Triple-A Syracuse.

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