The Nationals added a utility infielder as insurance behind Danny Espinosa by re-signing Will Rhymes to a minor league deal with an invitation to big league spring training, his agency Beverly Hills Sports Council announced via Twitter.
Rhymes, 30, spent all of 2013 at Class AAA Syracuse, hitting .274 with a .709 OPS. He appeared in 130 games for the Tigers and Rays between 2010 and 2012, hitting .266 with a .671 OPS. Rhymes played second base, third base and left field last season at Syracuse, mainly serving as the Chiefs’ second baseman. The Nationals also invited him to spring training last season.
The Nationals plan for Espinosa to serve as their backup infielder, and Rhymes poses little threat to Espinosa, if only because he cannot play shortstop — Rhymes last played short in 2010 and has never played it in the majors. As for shortstop options behind starter Ian Desmond and Espinosa, the Nationals may invite Emmanuel Burriss to major spring training, and Zachary Walters is on the 40-man roster.