Xavier Nady and Washington Nationals Agree on Minor League Contract

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Xavier Nady and Washington Nationals Agree on Minor League Contract
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The Washington Times reports that the Washington Nationals and outfielder Xavier Nady have agreed on a minor league contract (via NBCsports.com).

The deal does not include an invitation to spring training, so Nady will be stationed in minor league camp in Viera, Florida.

He struggled mightily in 2011 with the Arizona Diamondbacks before fracturing his left hand in early August, hitting .248/.287/.359 with four home runs and 35 RBI in 82 games. The injury to his left hand caused him to miss the rest of the season.

Given his down season in 2011, the terms of this minor league agreement come as no surprise. The 33-year-old struggled to latch on with a team this offseason, and the Nationals present him with an opportunity to help a very shallow bench.

If he stays healthy, Nady will likely be called up sometime in May or June to help out a bench in desperate need of depth. Rick Ankiel and Mark DeRosa figure to be in the mix for the fourth outfield spot, but neither have been productive in recent memory.

Nady hasn't been very productive either, but he would be the most reliable option out of the three.

He also provides the Nationals with extra depth at first base, as it's unknown as to how well Adam LaRoche will bounce back from injury. It's also unknown as to how Michael Morse will be affected by the strained right lat muscle that has been nagging him early on this spring.

The team likely doesn't expect much from Nady. Ever since his breakout 2008 season, by far the best season of his career, Nady has been hampered by various injuries and inconsistencies.

In 2008 with the Pirates and Yankees, Nady hit .305/.357/.510 with 25 home runs and 97 RBI.

The deal is just a depth move for the Nationals at this point, but one with the potential to help the club later on in the 2012 season.

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