The Washington Nationals have been busy the last few days.
Friday, they introduced 1B Adam LaRoche to the media. Monday, they traded for LHP Tom Gorzelanny -- sending away three minor leaguers in the deal -- and signed infielder Alex Cora to a minor league contract.
Tuesday, word surfaced that they signed right-handed reliever Todd Coffey, though no terms have been announced or leaked yet.
Today, the Nats signed veteran utilityman Jerry Hairston, Jr to a one-year, $2 million deal, with incentives that could earn him another $1 million, according to one baseball source.
Hairston, 35 in May, is a 13-year Major League veteran. He's hit .257/.325/.370 with 59 home runs, 341 RBIs and 143 stolen bases in his career. Last season with San Diego, he went .244/.299/.353 with 10 home runs and 50 RBIs in 119 games.
A right-handed hitter, Hairston has played every position on the field except pitcher and catcher, and played mostly shortstop last season, when a rash of injuries forced him into full-time duty until what he thought was shin splints turned out to be a fractured tibea later in the season.
In addition to the Padres, Hairston also spent time with the Orioles, Cubs, Rangers, Reds and Yankees.
Hairston should assume the utility role that Willie Harris served for the last three seasons, and could play outfield against left-handed pitchers.
Coffey is a six-year veteran, spending time with Cincinnati and Milwaukee. His lifetime record is 19-17 with 11 saves, 4.15 ERA, 1.446 WHIP and 2.43 K/BB rate. Last season for the Brewers he went 2-4 with a 4.76 ERA and 8.1 K/9 rate. He'll battle several candidates for a short relief/set up role.
If Coffey was given a Major League contract, that would put the Nats at 44 players for the 40-man roster, requiring four players be removed and exposed to waivers. Once we learn those names we'll update this post.