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Washington Nationals reportedly sign Stephen Drew to 1-year/$3M deal

According to multiple reports tonight, the Washington Nationals signed veteran infielder Stephen Drew to a 1-year/$3M deal, adding the left-handed hitter to the mix in the middle infield along with Daniel Murphy, Danny Espinosa, Trea Turner and Wilmer Difo.

Anthony Gruppuso-USA TODAY Sports

Dusty Baker was asked about Washington's infield depth when the Nationals' new manager talked to reporters earlier this month about where things stand up the middle.

"I'm still looking into things sort of," Baker said after meeting some of the players for the first time at Nats WinterFest.

"I was talking to Danny [Espinosa] last night. I just met some of the guys. Trea Turner, I just met today. I met a couple guys in the hotel. I've got to wait to see them play exactly before I know where I'm going to put them. But we do have some bodies and we're not through yet."

As for the biggest needs on the roster he was inheriting?

"My immediate thing is we need some more speed," Baker said.

"Need some more athleticism. And we need to make sure that we have a capable bench. Because when I look at the schedule, like in May, we're playing twenty games in a row.

"When I look at the schedule in August, and we're playing twenty games in a row. We need some backup to give some guys some rest or we're going to break them down by the end of the season. We need some depth."

The Nationals signed Daniel Murphy to a 3-year/$27.5M deal ten days after Baker's comments, giving them a left-hand bat at second base, and on Tuesday night they added veteran infielder Stephen Drew to the mix.

Drew, 32, spent the 2015 campaign in New York, putting up a .201/.271/.381 line over 428 plate appearances for the Yankees, for whom the left-handed hitting infielder hit 16 doubles and 17 HRs in 131 games, finishing the year at 0.2 fWAR.

An '04 1st Round pick by Arizona when current Nats' GM Mike Rizzo was the scouting director for the D-Backs, Drew saw most of his time at second with the Yankees in 2015, but he's played 982 of his 1143 career games at short.

Do the Nationals plan on playing Danny Espinosa at short to start the season? Is it now Espinosa at short and Murphy at second with Drew backing up at each position?

Does the addition of Drew guarantee that 22-year-old infielder Trea Turner is going to start the season at AAA?

Are the Nationals really comfortable going with Espinosa at short?

Does Drew provide insurance in case Espinosa does not take advantage of the opportunity and Turner's kept down until he's ready of the Nationals decide it's time to bring him up?

With Espinosa, Turner, Wilmer Difo, Murphy and now Drew, do the Nationals have the infield depth up the middle that they need going into 2016?

Washington Post writer James Wagner noted in an article on the deal with Drew tonight, the Nationals' 40-Man roster, which stands at 40 before the contracts with Drew and Murphy are official, will have to remove two players in order to make room.