The Nationals claimed infielder Pedro Florimon on waivers from the Twins on Thursday afternoon. To make room for Florimon on the 40-man roster, the Nationals designated outfielder Eury Perez for assignment.
Florimon, 27, was the Twins’ opening day shortstop but struggled this season and wasn’t a September call-up in Minnesota. He hit .092 (7 for 76) with a .310 OPS, 22 strikeouts and eight walks in 33 games this season. He spent most of the season at Class AAA Rochester, playing mostly shortstop but with some second and third base. He hit .257/.328/.389 with four home runs and 82 strikeouts in 85 games at Rochester.
In 692 major league plate appearances, Florimon has a .204/.266/.300 slash line. He is known more for his elite defense, which Nationals scouts and advanced statistics rated highly. He will likely serve as minor league depth.
Perez, 24, was signed by the Nationals out of the Dominican Republic at 17 for $25,000 in 2007. He overcame language barriers and developed into a speedy contact hitter, but spent the past two and a half seasons at Class AAA Syracuse. He was a slowed by a broken toe this season but hit .311/.372/.406 with 20 stolen bases at Syracuse and was surpassed by other outfield prospects. The Nationals’ system has a glut of outfield prospects and less middle infield depth at the upper rungs of the minor leagues.