Keep Coming To The Nationals...Today!
The Washington Nationals announced this afternoon that they'd signed two more free agents, offering 27-year-old former Montreal Expos' '03 6th Round pick 1B Josh Whitesell and 31-year-old utility man Eric Bruntlett minor league deals with invitations to Spring Training. Whitesell, who was selected off waivers by Arizona in 2008, split the '09 campaign between the D-Backs' Triple-A affiliate in Reno, NV, where he hit .293 with a .398 OBP and a .471 SLG in 63 games and the D-Backs' major league roster, where he hit just .194 in 46 games and 108 AB's, posting a .346 OBP and a .287 SLG. Bruntlett, in his second season with Philadelphia, following five seasons in Houston after the Astros drafted him in the 9th Round of the 2000 Draft, hit just .171 with a .224 OBP and a .238 SLG in 72 G and 105 AB's with the Phillies in '09, appearing in at least one game at every position on the field (excluding the mound or behind the plate).
What role, if any, either of the two will play on the Nationals' major league roster in 2010 is unclear, though Bruntlett's most likely not the middle infielder the Nationals have been talking about acquiring all winter. (MLB.com's Bill Ladson still says that he believes Washington will sign Orlando Hudson.) Whitesell got as far as Double-A in the Nationals' system before he was claimed by Arizona in '08, and he played in just 53 major league games over two seasons in the D-Backs' organization...so imagining him as Adam Dunn's backup this season is a stretch...As Dave Nichols from the Nats News Network (Yes, he's reluctantly on Twitter too!) put it in a Tweet about the two players signing, "...more organizational depth."