Nationals sign infielder César Hernández after non-tendering 3 players

Nats sign infielder Hernández after non-tendering 3 players originally appeared on NBC Sports Washington

The Nationals made a series of transactions Tuesday to boost their infield depth and free up roster spots for additional moves this offseason.

Ahead of the 8 p.m. ET deadline, Washington non-tendered relievers Wander Suero and Ryne Harper as well as first baseman Mike Ford. The team also announced the signing of infielder César Hernández to a one year-deal reportedly worth $4 million with incentives. Hours earlier, the Nationals claimed infield prospect Lucius Fox off waivers from the Baltimore Orioles, putting their 40-man roster at 38 players.

Hernández, 31, joined the Nationals after splitting the 2021 season with the Cleveland Indians and Chicago White Sox. He hit .232 with 21 home runs and a .694 OPS in 149 games. The longtime Philadelphia Phillies utility man has made a majority of his starts at second base but has experience at shortstop, third base and center field as well. Hernández will join Alcides Escobar as a flexible defender capable of moving around the diamond while Washington gets an extended look at Carter Kieboom and Luis García.

The Nationals cut ties with Suero and Harper after both bounced between MLB and Triple-A Rochester last season. Suero, one of the few holdovers from the Nationals’ 2019 World Series roster, appeared in 145 games for Washington the last three years — most among any pitcher on the team over that span. Harper signed with the Nationals in 2020 and he pitched well in stretches, but the right-hander wasn’t able to carve out a consistent role. Ford never appeared in the majors for the club.

In Fox, the Nationals added a switch-hitting speed threat with 142 stolen bases in 479 career minor-league games (an average of 48 per 162 games). Baltimore claimed Fox from the Kansas City Royals on Nov. 19 but lost him to Washington attempting to move him off its 40-man roster. The 24-year-old Bahamas native reached base at a clip of .353 with 14 doubles and four home runs in 57 games for Triple-A Omaha last season.

With a potential lockout looming, the Nationals got busy tinkering with their roster before a league-wide transaction freeze kicks in at midnight Wednesday evening. MLB and the players union are still having talks in hopes of working out a deal, but all signs point toward the sport enduring its first work stoppage since 1994-95.

This article was written by WTOP’s news partner, NBC Sports Washington. Sign up for NBC Sports Washington’s free email subscription today.

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