Nats add Carroll, Fontenot to mix on Minors pacts
Veteran infielders get invitations to Spring Training in chance to provide depth
WASHINGTON -- The Nationals added two infielders on Thursday, signing Jamey Carroll and Mike Fontenot to Minor League deals with invitations to Spring Training, according to two baseball sources.
The Nats are looking to improve their bench, and Carroll, 39, could be a good fit for them. He can play every infield position except first base and has dabbled in the outfield.
Carroll played for the Expos/Nationals from 2002-05, and he was a favorite of then-manager Frank Robinson because of his hard work and hustle on the field. When then-general manager Jim Bowden dealt Carroll to the Rockies after the 2005 season, Robinson was furious and had a tough time finding a quality backup infielder in 2006.
Carroll went on to have a nice career after leaving Washington, playing for the Rockies, Dodgers, Twins and Royals. In 12 big league seasons, Carroll has a .272 career batting average with 13 home runs and 265 RBIs in 1,276 games.
As for Fontenot, he is best known for his seasons with the Cubs and Giants. He last played in the big leagues in 2012 for the Phillies.
Last year, Fontenot spent the entire season with Triple-A Durham, a Rays affiliate, and hit .264 with four home runs and 42 RBIs. His best season was with the Cubs in 2008, when he hit .305 with a .395 on-base percentage.
Bill Ladson is a reporter for MLB.com and writes an MLBlog, All Nats All the time. He also could be found on Twitter @WashingNats. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.