The Nationals announced Tuesday night the signing of right-handed reliever Clay Hensley to a minor league deal that includes an invitation to major league camp. The Nationals’ bullpen already includes Rafael Soriano, Tyler Clippard, Drew Storen, Craig Stammen, Jerry Blevins, Ross Ohlendorf, Xavier Cedeno, Ryan Mattheus and other candidates, but Hensley, if he performs, could add depth.
Hensley, 34 and a Texas native, last pitched in the major leagues in 2012 with the San Francisco Giants, posting a 4.62 ERA over 50 2/3 innings. The right-hander pitched four seasons for the San Diego Padres and two for the Marlins before his stint with the Giants. He has a career 4.00 ERA in 517 innings over 271 major league games. Hensley is famously known for surrendering home run No. 755 to Barry Bonds, which tied him with Hank Aaron on the career home run list, on Aug. 4, 2007, in San Diego. He was sent to Class AAA Portland the next day.
Hensley spent last season between the Class AAA Louisville, a Cincinnati Reds affiliate; Class AAA Nashville, a Milwaukee Brewers affiliate; and Sugar Land Skeeters of the independent Atlantic League. He posted a combined 2.57 ERA in 35 combined innings last season.