- The Washington Times - Wednesday, January 6, 2016

The Washington Nationals announced Wednesday that they have signed second baseman Daniel Murphy to a three-year contract and shortstop Stephen Drew to a one-year contract.

Murphy was named MVP of the National League Championship Series when he hit .529 for the New York Mets and finished with a .421 postseason batting average. The left-handed Murphy is a career .288 hitter who often makes contact. He struck out 38 times and walked 31 times last season, though he has proven to be a liability in the field, playing first base, second base, third base and left field during his career.

Drew, who will provide depth in the Nationals’ middle infield, has played 10 seasons. Last year, he hit .201 and hit 17 home runs for the New York Yankees.

The Nationals head toward spring training with options up the middle. Veteran Danny Espinosa and rookie Trea Turner have both expressed a desire to play shortstop. Both can also play second base. The departure of Ian Desmond and Yunel Escobar freed spots in the infield.

To make room for Murphy and Drew on the 40-man roster, the Nationals designated pitchers Erik Davis and Taylor Hill for assignment. Davis has not been in the major leagues since 2013, when he pitched 8 2/3 innings. Hill appeared in four games last season and had a 3.75 ERA in 12 innings.

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