Nationals Sign Four

The Nationals agreed to sign right-hander J.D. Martin, left-hander Matt Chico, catcher Carlos Maldonado and first baseman Kevin Barker the team announced. Chico gets a Major League deal and the others get minor league deals with invitations to Spring Training. All four players have big league experience and everyone but Barker has suited up for the Nationals before.

The Nationals released Martin last month after he pitched to a 4.32 ERA with 4.9 K/9 and 2.5 BB/9 in 125 innings from 2009-10.  Martin spent most of the last three years at Triple-A, where he posted a 3.21 ERA with 6.1 K/9 and 1.4 BB/9 in 144 innings.

Chico, 27, is a former second rounder who has a 4.95 ERA in 220 big league innings. He spent the 2010 season with Washington's top affiliates, posting a 3.62 ERA with 5.5 K/9 and 2.6 BB/9 in 141 2/3 innings.

Maldonado, 32, has had cups of coffee in three big league seasons. The backstop has a .256/.328/.358 line in parts of 15 minor league seasons.

Barker, 35, has a .249/.328/.354 line in 323 career plate appearances for the Brewers, Padres, Reds and Blue Jays. The 1996 draft pick has 260 minor league homers to his name and an .843 OPS in the minor leagues.

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