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Nationals Sign 2 Utility Men, Re-Sign Colome

Friday, December 14, 2007

The Washington Nationals signed a pair of left-handed-hitting utility players -- Rob Mackowiak and Willie Harris-- to one-year contracts yesterday. The club also avoided arbitration with reliever Jesus Colome, who agreed to a one-year, $1.25 million deal.

Mackowiak, who will earn $1.5 million, is a .262 career hitter who played last season for the Chicago White Sox and San Diego Padres after five seasons with Pittsburgh. He has played all three outfield positions as well as every infield position other than shortstop.

Mackowiak, 31, hit .263 with in 113 games between Chicago and San Diego last year.

Harris, a 29-year-old speedster, appeared in 117 games with Atlanta last season, hitting .270 with 20 doubles, 8 triples and 17 steals. He could be a primary pinch runner after the Nationals parted ways with Nook Logan.

Harris, who will earn $800,000, is a career .247 hitter over parts of seven seasons with Baltimore, the White Sox, Boston and the Braves.

Colome, who will turn 30 this month, went 5-1 with a 3.82 ERA in 61 appearances for the Nationals last season. He will earn a $25,000 bonus if he appears in 70 games, and another $25,000 bonus if he appears in 80 games.

The Nationals also re-signed left-hander Mike O'Connor-- who did not pitch in the majors in 2007 after coming back from elbow surgery -- to a minor league deal.

-- Barry Svrluga

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