In discussing the Washington Nationals' remaining needs as he builds the roster for 2015, Nationals' GM Mike Rizzo told MLB Network Radio hosts Jim Bowden and Jim Duquette on Sunday that though most spots were filled, there was still work left to be done. One area of need he singled out? A left-handed bench bat.
"We need to come up with a better left-handed side of the bench to complement Nate McLouth and our switch-hitter in Jose Lobaton," Rizzo said.
This morning the Nationals announced that they signed left-handed hitting 1B/OF Mike Carp and left-handed hitting catcher Steven Lerud:
The #Nats have agreed to terms with 1B/OF @MikeCarp37 & C Steven Lerud on Minor League contracts with invitations to MLB Spring Training.— Washington Nationals (@Nationals) January 13, 2015
Carp, 28, put together his best season in the majors with the World Series champion Boston Red Sox in 2013 in his sixth major league campaign, posting a .296/.362/.523 line with 18 doubles, two triples and nine home runs in 86 games and 243 plate appearances over which he was worth a career-high +1.2 fWAR.
After posting a .198/.320/.279 line in 103 plate appearances with the Red Sox in 2014, Carp was claimed off waivers by Texas.
In 17 games with the Rangers, he posted a .125/.217/.125 line with 14 Ks in 46 PAs.
Steven Lerud, 30, is a Pittsburgh Pirates' 2003 3rd Round pick who's played a total of nine games in the majors with the Philadelphia Phillies in 2012-13.
In 2014, Lerud played 60 games with the Atlanta Braves' Triple-A affiliate, hitting nine doubles and four home runs and posting a .250/.376/.390 line.