Nationals sign Mike Fontenot to minor league deal

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Along with their addition of Jamey Carroll earlier today, the Nationals signed veteran, left-handed-hitting infielder Mike Fontenot to a minor league contract with an invitation to spring training, a person familiar with the deal said.

Fontenot, 33, last played in the majors in 2012 with the Phillies, who released him in August after a string of defensive miscues. He spent all of last season with Tampa Bay’s Class AAA affiliate, hitting .264 with a .714 OPS and four homers. A 2001 first-round pick, Fontenot has a career slash line of .265/.332/.401 over seven seasons.

The Nationals have accumulated a stockpile of infielders on minor league contracts to compete with Danny Espinosa for the utility infield role. Along with Carroll and Fontenot, the Nationals re-signed Will Rhymes and added D.C. native Emmanuel Burriss on minor league deals. Zach Walters, a call-up last season who is on the 40-man roster, will also be in that mix.

After last season, when several young reserves scuffled, the Nationals this winter have sought to add more experienced bench players. They signed Nate McLouth to a two-year deal to serve as their fourth outfielder and added Chris Snyder to their backup catcher mix.

Adam Kilgore covers national sports for the Washington Post. Previously he served as the Post's Washington Nationals beat writer from 2010 to 2014.

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Adam Kilgore · January 9, 2014

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