Nationals sign Greg Dobbs to minor league deal

(Evan Vucci / AP)
(Evan Vucci / AP)

With injuries eating away at their roster, the Nationals signed veteran left-handed hitter Greg Dobbs to a minor league contract to potentially provide further insurance for their bench.

Dobbs, who turns 36 in July, went 1 for 13 this season before the Marlins designated him for assignment April 29 and then released him May 6. The Marlins cut him loose even though they signed him to a one-year, $1.7 million contract shortly after the 2013 season ended.

With first baseman Adam LaRoche in the disabled list with a quad strain, the Nationals could eventually try to use Dobbs in a first base platoon with Tyler Moore and/or Kevin Frandsen. But Dobbs only has 13 at-bats this season and hasn’t played in two weeks, so the Nationals have no expectations for him.

“We’re going to see where he’s at, as far as ready to play,” General Manager Mike Rizzo said. “He hasn’t played in a long time. We’re going to see where he’s at, and how close he is to playing in the big leagues, and we’ll take it from there. He’s a professional, left-handed bat off the bench and can play a couple different positions in the field. But we really haven’t made any decisions about when, where and why what we’re going to do with him.”

Last season, Dobbs hit .228/.303/.300 in 267 plate appearances. In his career, Dobbs has hit .266 with a .713 OPS in his 11-year career. As a pinch hitter in his career, Dobbs has hit .247 in 431 plate appearances.

The Nationals, especially then-Manager Davey Johnson, had interest in adding Dobbs to their bench heading into the 2013 season.

“He’s a guy that we know well,” Rizzo said. “I’ve always liked the way he goes about his business. He’s a professional hitter. We’ve had a little relationship over the years, just kind of a behind-the-batting cage type of thing. Good guy. We’ll see where it takes us. There’s nothing guaranteed. There’s nothing in stone or anything like that.”

Adam Kilgore covers the Nationals for The Washington Post.
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