Jan 19, 2011, 7:36 PM EDT
The Nationals have signed infielder Jerry Hairston to a one-year, $2 million contract, giving the club a veteran who can take over at second base if rookie Danny Espinosa isn’t deemed ready for full-time duty as well as a versatile utilityman who can play all over the field if needed.
Hairston, who spent last season with the Padres, can earn an additional $1 million in incentives. He has primarily played second base in his career but in recent years has refashioned himself as a utilityman who can also play shortstop, third base and the outfield.
With the recent additions of Hairston, reliever Todd Coffey, first baseman Adam LaRoche and left-hander Tom Gorzelanny, the Nationals’ 40-man roster is over capacity. The club will need to remove four players to clear space for all the additions.
UPDATE AT 4:45 P.M. — We now know one of the roster casualties: J.D. Martin was given his unconditional release today, a move that corresponds with the official processing of LaRoche’s contract at MLB headquarters. The other new players’ contracts have not been processed by MLB yet, thus the other 40-man moves haven’t been made yet.
COUNTDOWN TO OPENING DAY
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