Nationals Sign Kevin Frandsen

11:58am: The Nationals have announced the signing. Interestingly, the club refers to Frandsen as an infielder/outfielder, even though Frandsen has seen little MLB time outside of the infield dirt. Ross Ohlendorf was placed on the 60-day DL to create roster space, with his previous option being voided.

9:18am: Frandsen's deal is a fully-guaranteed MLB contract worth $900K, Jerry Crasnick of ESPN.com reports (Twitter links). It also includes $300K in perofrmance bonuses and a $400K awards package, Crasnick adds. In essence, then, Frandsen will receive the same contract he had with the Phillies, but with some additional upside.

8:24am: The Nationals have agreed to sign infielder Kevin Frandsen, reports Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports (via Twitter). Frandsen, 31, elected free agency yesterday after being outrighted by the Phillies, giving up his guaranteed $900K salary in the process.

Playing with Philadelphia over the last two years, Frandsen has a combined .280/.333/.389 triple-slash in 488 plate appearances, though each element of that line was significantly better in 2012 than in 2013. (Frandsen's .366 BABIP in 2012 dropped to .245 last year, which surely explains some of the variance.)

Frandsen has excelled in two areas — hitting lefties and pinch-hitting — that seem to match the Nats' needs, notes Dan Kolko of MASNsports.com (on Twitter). Indeed, Frandsen's career platoon splits (.778 OPS vs. lefties, .626 against righties) make the former clear. As for the latter, Frandsen has not necessarily put up astounding numbers as a pinch-hitter, but he saw extensive use in that role for the first time last year, hitting .250/.311/.393 in 61 plate appearances.

With Tyler Moore being optioned to Triple-A yesterday and Jamey Carroll being released, it appeared that the Nationals were set to go with Jeff Kobernus as a reserve infield/outfield option. With Frandsen added to the mix, the club's glut of seemingly MLB-ready bench options playing in Triple-A could be attractive to clubs looking for cost-controlled options; ineed, both Moore and Kobernus have had their names mentioned as possible trade chips in recent weeks.


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