11/06/2006 4:19 PM ET
Nationals agree to terms with 21 Minor League free agents, including 13 pitchers
The Washington Nationals today added depth to both their 40-man roster and minor-league system by agreeing to terms with 21 minor-league free agents.
The Nationals agreed to terms with right-handed pitcher Tim Redding, right-handed pitcher Joel Hanrahan, infielder Josh Wilson and outfielder Michael Restovich on one-year contracts and thus were added to the club's 40-man roster.
The Nationals also agreed to terms on minor-league contracts with right-handed pitchers Jermaine Van Buren, T.J. Nall, Colby Lewis, Felix Diaz, Eduardo Valdez, Josh Hall, Winston Abreu, Jim Magrane; left-handed pitchers Mike Bacsik, Billy White and Chris Michalak; catchers Juan Brito and Danny Ardoin; infielders Joe Thurston and Alejandro Machado; outfielders Darnell McDonald and Wayne Lydon. Nationals Vice President and General Manager Jim Bowden, Assistant General Manager/Vice President of Player Development Bob Boone, and Minor League Director Andy Dunn made the joint announcements.
Redding, 28, went 12-10 with a 3.40 ERA in 29 games (28 starts) last season for Charlotte of the Triple-A International League. He ranked among IL leaders in complete games (first with five), innings (led all of Minor League baseball with 187.2), strikeouts (second with 148), wins (fourth) and ERA (tied for ninth). In five big league seasons from 2001-05, Redding went 21-34 with a 5.16 ERA in 101 games (76 starts) with Houston, San Diego and New York (AL). Redding's best season came in 2003, when he finished 10-14 with a 3.68 ERA in 33 games (32 starts) for the Astros.
Hanrahan, 25, was the Dodgers' second-round selection in the 2000 First-Year Player Draft. In 2006, Hanrahan's sixth and final season in the Dodgers' chain, he combined to go 11-5 with a 3.58 ERA in 26 starts for Triple-A Las Vegas and Double-A Jacksonville. In seven seasons as a professional, Hanrahan is 62-45 with a 4.23 ERA in 174 games (167 starts).
Restovich, the Twins' second-round selection in the 1997 First-Year Player Draft, has played in the big leagues each of the last five seasons, hitting .250 with six home runs and 20 RBI in 137 games with Minnesota, Colorado, Pittsburgh and Chicago (NL). The 27 year-old has hit more than 20 home runs in four of his last five minor-league seasons, averaging 23 long balls per year. Defensively, Restovich recorded a career-high 20 outfield assists for Triple-A Edmonton in 2002.
Wilson, 25, batted .307 with 10 home runs, 45 RBI and 15 stolen bases last season for Colorado Springs of the Triple-A Pacific Coast League. Florida's third-round selection in the 1999 First-Year Player Draft, Wilson has hit at least 15 home runs each of the last three seasons, including a career-high 17 for Albuquerque in 2005. He played in 11 games for the Marlins in 2005.
Van Buren is a combined 6-3 with 42 saves and a 2.42 ERA at the Triple-A level the last three seasons, including 4-0 with 16 saves and a 2.98 ERA in 33 International League appearances with Pawtucket in 2006. The 26 year-old Van Buren, who has pitched in the big leagues each of the last two seasons with Chicago-NL (2005) and Boston (2006), has averaged 8.9 strikeouts per 9.0 innings pitched during his minor league career.
Nall, the Dodgers' eighth-round selection in the 1999 First-Year Player Draft, went 10-7 with a 2.82 ERA in 29 games (19 starts) for Jacksonville of the Double-A Southern League in 2006. Nall, 25, ranked among SL leaders in strikeouts (first with 155), wins (tied for fourth) and ERA (sixth). He has averaged 7.8 strikeouts per 9.0 innings pitched during his eight-year professional career.
Lewis is a former first-round selection (Texas, 1999) who went 6-7 with a 3.96 ERA in 24 starts last season for Toledo of the Triple-A International League. The 27 year-old Lewis has pitched in the big leagues for portions of the last four seasons, including 2003, when he won a career-high 10 games for the Rangers. This season, Lewis pitched in two games out of the bullpen for Detroit during a stint with the eventual American League champions.
The 26 year-old Diaz returns to the United States after going 3-5 with a 4.91 ERA last season for Hokkaido Nippon Ham Fighters, who won the 2006 Japan Series while representing the Japanese Pacific League. Diaz was most recently a member of the White Sox organization. In 2004, he went 10-2 with a 2.97 ERA in 19 games (17 starts) for Charlotte of the Triple-A International League to earn his first trip to the big leagues. He posted a 6.75 ERA in 18 games (seven starts) for the White Sox that season.
Valdez, 26, is 50-35 with a 3.64 ERA in seven professional seasons within the Reds organization, during which he walked just 2.6 batters per 9.0 innings pitched. In 2006, Valdez went 7-10 with a 3.89 ERA in 29 games (23 starts) pitching for Chattanooga of the Double-A Southern League.
Hall pitched at the Triple-A and Double-A levels for Cincinnati in 2006, going a combined 10-9 with a 3.56 ERA (60 ER/151.2 IP) in 26 starts. The 10 wins were a career high for Cincinnati's seventh-round selection in the 1998 First-Year Player Draft. The 25 year-old, who was born, raised and resides in Lynchburg, VA, is 50-50 with a 3.74 ERA in seven professional seasons spent entirely in the Reds' system. He went 0-2 with a 6.57 ERA in six games (five starts) with Cincinnati during his big league debut in 2003.
Abreu went 9-4 with a 2.48 ERA in 46 games for Ottawa of the Triple-A International League last season and as a result, earned his first promotion to the big leagues, pitching in seven games with Baltimore. The 29 year-old Abreu is 47-40 with a 3.80 ERA in 303 games (87 starts) at the minor-league level.
The 28 year-old Magrane, pitching for Triple-A Durham and Double-A Montgomery, tied for second in the Devil Rays chain with 12 wins in 2006. Before spending the season's final month at Triple-A, Magrane's 2.98 ERA ranked ninth in the Double-A Southern League. He is 61-64 with a 3.93 ERA in seven professional seasons, all spent with the Devil Rays organization.
Bacsik, 28, went a perfect 11-0 with a 2.79 ERA in 28 games (10 starts) for Tucson of the Triple-A Pacific Coast League in 2006. He spent 2006 Spring Training with the Nationals, but did not pitch in the Nationals' system. Bacsik's father, Mike Sr., pitched in the big leagues for Texas (1975-77) and Minnesota (1979-80).
White, 27, fanned 10.7 batters per 9.0 innings in 2006 en route to posting 12 saves and a 3.53 ERA in 54 appearances with Tennessee of the Double-A Southern League. Arizona's third-round selection in the 2000 First-Year Player Draft, White has averaged 9.7 strikeouts per 9.0 innings in three seasons since converting exclusively to relief in 2004.
Michalak went 2-4 with a 4.89 ERA in eight games (six starts) for Cincinnati last season. The 35 year-old Michalak earned time with the Reds after going 9-5 with a 2.99 ERA in 23 games (22 starts) for Louisville of the Triple-A International League, where he ranked third in the IL in ERA. Michalak, whose cousin is former big league pitcher Mark Grant, is 10-15 with a 4.70 ERA in 61 games (24 starts) spanning portions of four big league seasons with Arizona, Toronto, Texas and Cincinnati.
A 10-year pro, Brito last season batted .296 with 14 doubles, eight home runs and 43 RBI in 73 games with Tucson of the Triple-A Pacific Coast League. The 28 year-old Brito spent portions of the 2002 and '04 seasons in the big leagues, batting .216 with three homers and 13 RBI in 63 games for Kansas City and Arizona.
Ardoin, 32, has played in 141 games during portions of four seasons at the big league level, including each of the last three. Last year, Ardoin played for both Colorado and Baltimore. Known most for his defensive work behind the plate, Ardoin hit a career-high six home runs in 80 games with the Rockies in 2005.
The 27 year-old Thurston is a career .292 hitter with 146 stolen bases at the minor-league level. Last season, Thurston played in 18 late-season games for Philadelphia, batting .222 (4-for-18). Thurston was the Dodgers' fourth-round selection in the 1999 First-Year Player Draft, and in subsequent years, was considered one of the Dodgers' elite prospects.
Machado, 24, returns for a second stint with the Nationals. In 2004, he played for Double-A Harrisburg and Single-A Brevard County, hitting a combined .306 with five home runs, 45 RBI and 30 stolen bases. Machado was then traded to Boston during the Nationals' inaugural Spring Training in 2005. Machado, who hit .260 with 21 stolen bases for Pawtucket of the Triple-A International League in 2006, made his big league debut with Boston in '05 and was a member of the Red Sox's post-season roster. Following the 2005 campaign, he was tabbed as Boston's Minor League Baserunner of the Year. He is a career .288 hitter with 196 stolen bases in eight professional seasons.
McDonald, 27, batted .292 with 33 doubles, 14 home runs, 57 RBI and 30 stolen bases in 136 games with Durham of the Triple-A International League in 2006. He set career highs in hits (157), doubles and home runs. McDonald was Baltimore's first-round selection (26th overall) in the 1997 First-Year Player Draft.
Lydon, 25, is a .258 career hitter with 355 stolen bases in eight professional seasons. Lydon has averaged 51 stolen bases a season from 2000-06, including an 87-stolen bag effort for Single-A Columbia in 2002. In 2006, his first season at the Triple-A level, he batted .263 with nine home runs, 46 RBI and 26 stolen bases for Syracuse of the International League.