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Washington Nationals claim Lucius Fox off waivers; sign Cesár Hernández to 1-year deal...

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GM Mike Rizzo & Co. in the Nationals’ front office found another player on the waiver wire…

MiLB: JUL 28 Omaha Storm Chasers at Toledo Mud Hens Photo by Scott W. Grau/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

Not The Batman One:

Washington’s Nationals claimed infielder Lucius Fox off waivers from the Baltimore Orioles on Tuesday, adding the 24-year-old infielder to the mix in the nation’s capital.

Fox, 24, “… entered the [2021] season rated by Baseball America as the No. 22 prospect in the [Kansas City] Royals’ organization,” as the Nats noted in a press release on the move, and after he put up a combined .245/.353/.376 line, 15 doubles, and five home runs in 62 games and 270 plate appearance mostly (57 G, 252 PAs) at Triple-A in the Royals’ system he was placed on waivers and claimed by the Baltimore Orioles on November 19, 2021.

Signed by the San Francisco Giants as non-drafted free agent out of Nassau, Bahamas for a $6M bonus in July of 2015, Fox “… was rated by MLBPipeline.com as the No. 3 prospect in that international signing class.” He was subsequently traded to the Tampa Bay Rays in the Evan Longoria deal in 2017, before the Rays dealt him to the Royals straight-up for outfielder Brett Phillips in August of 2020.

“A switch-hitting middle infielder, Fox has stolen 142 bases in five professional seasons (2016-21),” the Nationals wrote.

“In 2019, his 39 stolen bases ranked second among Tampa Bay Rays’ farmhands. He also ranked tied for second with nine triples and tied for eighth with 59 walks.”

As MLBTraderumors noted in a story in the Nationals’ waiver claim, Fox, who has played short (386 games), second (46), third (9), and center field (8) in the minors, should compete for an infield spot with Alcides Escobar, Luis García, and Carter Kieboom this spring, but he has, “… a minor league option remaining, so if he lasts on the 40-man roster through the remainder of the offseason, he can be sent to Triple-A without first needing to pass through waivers.”

Another Infielder In The Mix:

Following the waiver claim on Fox, and the news on the Nationals’ tenders and non-tenders last night, the club announced that they agreed to terms on a one-year contract with César Hernández on Tuesday night.

Hernández, 31, put up a .232/.308/.386 line, 21 doubles, and 21 home runs in 149 games and 637 plate appearances for the Cleveland [Guardians] and Chicago White Sox in 2021, which was his career-high in home runs over nine big league campaigns.

“An American League Gold Glove winner in 2020, Hernández led American League second baseman in FanGraphs.com defensive rating (4.7),” the Nationals noted in a press release on the signing, “... and ranked second among American League second basemen in defensive runs saved (6).”

[Hernández] hit five leadoff home runs between the [Guardians and White Sox in 2021], tied for seventh-most in Major League Baseball,” the club noted at another point.

“His 18 career leadoff home runs are tied for ninth among active Major League players.”