Mar 31, 2012, 3:21 PM EDT
VIERA, Fla. — Outfielder Jason Michaels, released by the Nationals on Thursday, will return to the organization and report to Class AAA Syracuse. Infielder Andres Blanco, however, has signed a minor-league contract with the Phillies.
The Nationals were hoping both Michaels and Blanco would stay with the organization following their releases, but each veteran had an opt-out clause in their contract that allowed them to sign with another team.
Blanco wound up finding a better opportunity with the Phillies, who are in need of infield depth after seeing several players succumb to injury (including starter Chase Utley and projected backup Michael Martinez) this spring. The 27-year-old had only two hits in 32 Grapefruit League at-bats.
Michaels, 35, hit .220 (9-for-41) in 20 games this spring. An 11-year veteran with the Phillies, Indians, Pirates and Astros, he’ll join the roster at Syracuse and be asked to serve as a mentor to Bryce Harper. The two had adjacent lockers in big-league camp this spring, a request made by general manager Mike Rizzo.
ON THE RADIO
As ESPN-980 AM's Nats Insider, Mark makes daily appearances on the station's various shows. Here's the 2014 schedule (subject to change)...
MON: 12:45 p.m.
TUE: 2:30 p.m.
WED: 4:30 p.m.
THU: 2:30 p.m.
FRI: 1:30 p.m., 5:30 p.m.
SAT: 10:30 a.m.
*All times Eastern. You can also listen to the station on 94.3 FM, 92.7 FM and online at ESPN980.com. Click here for past audio clips.
Follow us on Twitter
- Sporting News names Mets pitcher NL Rookie of the Year
- Palm Beach approves funding for Nats spring complex
- Williams named top NL manager by peers
- Nationals roster report: Adam LaRoche
- Marlins' McGehee wins NL Comeback Player of the Year
- Previewing and predicting the 2014 World Series
- Nationals roster report: Ian Desmond
- Phillies coach admits Howard may be better off in AL
- Nationals roster report: Asdrubal Cabrera
- Important dates to keep in mind for Nats' offseason