- The Washington Times - Monday, February 6, 2012

The Washington Nationals announced the minor league signing of Mark Teahen on Monday afternoon, adding the 30-year-old corner infielder and outfielder to the mix for a bench role. The deal includes an invitation to major league spring training.

The team also made official the signing of outfielder Rick Ankiel to a minor league deal with a spring training invitation.

Teahen, who served as the third baseman and then first baseman for the Kansas City Royals for the first five years of his career, is coming off a career-worst offensive season spent with the Chicago White Sox and Toronto Blue Jays. He hit just .200 with a .273 on-base percentage and .300 slugging percentage with four home runs and 14 RBI in 78 games. He played third base, first base, left field, right field and served as a designated hitter.

The move gives the Nationals more possible options for a bench that appears set to include Mark DeRosa as well as other possibilities like Steve Lombardozzi, Mike Cameron, Roger Bernadina, Ankiel and several other non-roster invitees. It also reunites Teahen with former teammate Edwin Jackson, whom the Nationals signed last week. Jackson and Teahen were traded together to the Toronto Blue Jays at the deadline last season before Jackson was then flipped to the St. Louis Cardinals in the Colby Rasmus trade.

Teahen’s versatility is appealing to the Nationals but the fact that this is a minor league deal indicates that the Nationals could be inclined to keep him at Triple-A Syracuse as depth.

• Amanda Comak can be reached at acomak@washingtontimes.com.

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