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Nats sign speedy Campana to minor-league deal

Aug 11, 2015, 1:07 PM EST

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The Nationals have signed journeyman outfielder Tony Campana to a minor-league contract, taking a flyer on the speedy 28-year-old coming off reconstructive knee surgery.

The deal hasn’t been announced yet, but a club source confirmed the signing, first reported by CBSsports.com. The contract runs through the 2016 season.

Campana will report to the Nationals’ spring training complex in Viera, Fla., after spending the last month resuming baseball activities on his own following rehab for a torn ACL suffered in February before spring training with the White Sox.

A veteran of 257 big-league games with the Cubs, Diamondbacks and Angels, Campana is a career .249 hitter with a .296 on-base percentage and .288 slugging percentage. His specialty, though, is on the basepaths, where he owns 66 career stolen bases in 75 attempts.

That facet of his game makes Campana a potential addition to the Nationals’ roster in September and potentially in October as a pinch-running specialist.

  1. nats106 - Aug 11, 2015 at 1:22 PM

    Pinch runner when they expand the rosters on Sept 1.

    • Joe Seamhead - Aug 11, 2015 at 1:38 PM

      They’ll have to clear a roster spot on the 40 man for him. Assuming that they do that, I think that it greatly reduces the chance of seeing Trea Turner up here next month.

      • letswin3 - Aug 11, 2015 at 1:46 PM

        Isn’t stealing one of Difo’s strengths, and isn’t he already on the 40 man roster. I just checked Difo’s base stealing numbers in the minors, and they are very good.

      • unkyd59 - Aug 11, 2015 at 2:25 PM

        Difo isn’t a LH outfield bat…

      • therealjohnc - Aug 11, 2015 at 3:47 PM

        Judging from his stats, neither is Campana …

      • Ghost of Steve M. - Aug 11, 2015 at 4:14 PM

        Right, if they call him up they’d need a 40 man spot for him. I wonder if his speed is as good as it once was. I think Difo could beat him in a race.

  2. stoatva - Aug 11, 2015 at 1:40 PM

    .296 on-base percentage and .288 slugging percentage.

    Be still, my heart!

    • Doc - Aug 11, 2015 at 1:49 PM

      Rizzo’s grab bag acquisitions occasionally hold surprises. Doubt that Campana is one of them. Mets sign Cespedes and Nats sign Campana. Let’s weigh it out.

      • hummel26 - Aug 11, 2015 at 4:56 PM

        Rizzo has basically stood pat on offense and I think that has a lot of risk. A serious bat to replace Werth/Span would have been great. Werth isn’t the same defensively and it’s yet to be seen if he approaches a useful offensive level. Span is having a lost year, as he may not come back. I really think a power hitter would have been a great idea. Cespedes was relatively cheap, wish we’d gotten him.

  3. masterfishkeeper - Aug 11, 2015 at 1:45 PM

    Wonder if he’s really got his speed, if he’s recovering from reconstructive knee surgery.

    I agree that it would be nice to delay Turner’s appearance.

    • langleyclub - Aug 11, 2015 at 1:54 PM

      If Turner is activated when the rosters expand in September, it does not start his service time clock. The Nats will call up a baseunner in September (this will be very common after the havoc that Terrence Gore caused for the Royals). You never know, but I doubt that Campana will be in position to run the bases at elite level within 7 months of ACL surgery. Still think Turner is the leading candidate to be the Nats September pinch runner (he also could help with his bat or in the field.

      • virginiascopist - Aug 11, 2015 at 2:10 PM

        I’m sure they will evaluate Campana’s speed/effectiveness before making a decision when rosters expand. It is nice, though, that he’s an OF and a lefty and, presumably, faster (if healthy) than denDekker.

      • tcostant - Aug 11, 2015 at 3:42 PM

        You sais “If Turner is activated when the rosters expand in September, it does not start his service time clock.”

        Me: I think this incorrect. If he comes up, service clock starts.

      • sjm308 - Aug 11, 2015 at 4:51 PM

        It absolutely starts his service time clock.

      • natsnatsnatswoo - Aug 11, 2015 at 5:17 PM

        If Turner is activated in September, it definitely does start his service time clock. A day spent in the majors in September counts just as much toward his major league service as a day spent in the majors in any other month of the season.

  4. unkyd59 - Aug 11, 2015 at 1:58 PM

    LH outfield bat…..

  5. catcher50 - Aug 11, 2015 at 2:17 PM

    This signing makes no sense. He is slower and less able than Emanuel Burriss. I’m afraid that Rizzo may be losing some of his touch (Dan Uggla, anyone?).

    • unkyd59 - Aug 11, 2015 at 2:22 PM

      He’s said to have healed very fast from his surgery… No reason to assume he’s slower than Burris… We’ll know in a few weeks…

    • nats106 - Aug 11, 2015 at 2:35 PM

      Catcher50, would agree about Uggla except for the catalyst he provided one cool April 28th evening where he (arguably) saved the Nationals season if that can be done in the first 20 games or so of a season.

      For that I’ll always think it was a worthwhile signing, especially since the Braves paid the bulk of his contract.

    • hokiepokster92 - Aug 11, 2015 at 4:26 PM

      Lost his touch? (Trea Turner and Joe Ross, anyone?)

    • adcwonk - Aug 11, 2015 at 4:30 PM

      Losing his touch?

      How do you know that he’s slower and less able than Burriss? Do you really think Rizzo or one of his trusted scouts didn’t look him over personally before signing him?

  6. topnat - Aug 11, 2015 at 2:45 PM

    Organizational outfield depth. Behind upper dekker they have not got a lot. Tells me Span may be done.

    • virginiascopist - Aug 11, 2015 at 2:50 PM

      I was, unfortunately, thinking the exact same thing, regarding Span.

      • rayvil01 - Aug 11, 2015 at 2:58 PM

        FP even said as much last night: “You have to assume Denard is done for the year. This is who you’ve got. Time to produce.” That’s not word for word, but close. Surprised me to hear him say that and made me think he had inside info.

      • virginiascopist - Aug 11, 2015 at 3:11 PM

        Yes, I remember hearing FP say that as well last night. If true, then placing Span on the 60-day DL would open up a spot on the 40-man. But I can’t imagine they’d do that before September 1.

  7. kirbs3256 - Aug 11, 2015 at 2:56 PM

    Greinke last 7 starts. Hopefully the runs trend continues with our bats coming around. But that WHIP is stupid, so maybe he had some stuff just drop.

    DATE OPP W L S INN HA ER ERA BBI K WHIP
    08/06/2015 @ PHI 1 — — 6 7 6 1.71 2 8 0.85
    07/31/2015 vs. LAA 1 — — 8 5 2 1.42 1 8 0.83
    07/26/2015 @ NYM — — — 7 4 2 1.37 3 3 0.83
    07/19/2015 @ WAS 1 — — 8 3 — 1.30 1 11 0.82
    07/09/2015 vs. PHI 1 — — 8 1 — 1.39 — 8 0.84
    07/04/2015 vs. NYM 1 — — 7 4 — 1.48 — 4 0.89
    06/28/2015 @ MIA 1 — — 7.2 4 — 1.58 1 6 0.91

  8. langleyclub - Aug 11, 2015 at 2:57 PM

    There is no defending the decision to keep Dan Uggla on the active roster until August.

    In all probability, the Nats would not have won that slugfest in ATL without Dan Uggla. So for that, Uggla helped the Nats in 2015, but outside of that one game four months ago (even taking that one win into account), Uggla has been a net loss for the Nats in 2015. He can’t play defense at the MLB level, he can’t play multiple positions, and he has proven to be an ineffective offensive player; he can’t even bunt when the Nats need a runner moved up. On a team with a short bench to start with, Uggla provides nothing to help the Nats win games.

    2015 now represents the third consecutive year that Uggla has hit below .200. This isn’t a guy that is in a rut who might come out of it. He is the same player that the Braves and Giants released last year. His only role for the Nats is as a pinch hitter, and in that role he is hitting .190 with 1 extra base hit and 1 RBI. He is done.

    Boggles the mind that with this team’s struggles and the need for a left handed bat off the bench that he stayed on the roster all year. Also, the statement that “it’s OK because the Braves are paying his salary” makes my head want to explode. He has been terrible. Who cares that the Braves are paying his salary when his performance hurts the team? Let him be awful while sitting at home in Arizona. The Nats need a versatile player that can play multiple positions, maybe run a little bit, bunt and make contact from the left hand side.

    • nats106 - Aug 11, 2015 at 3:03 PM

      Didn’t say KEEPING him. I said SIGNING him. What the Nationals do going forward with Uggla I am completely indifferent on.

    • rlndtln - Aug 11, 2015 at 3:55 PM

      This is what I have been saying for months.Then we get rid of him and do not replace him with repot a denDeker who is lefty and can atleast Jason in the outfiteld in late innings.Of course a better upgrade would have been better but Uggla for all that time.Buddy you are right on.

  9. zmunchkin - Aug 11, 2015 at 3:07 PM

    There are countably infinite reasons that could explain this. And now an editorial comment:

    There are also reasons why we are commenting on this blog site instead of running an MLB team. 🙂

  10. Jeff - Aug 11, 2015 at 3:14 PM

    Reasoning behind Juan Gutierez @ Cuse besides depth ??

  11. chiefwj - Aug 11, 2015 at 3:41 PM

    I got curious about the comments about Uggla. He has, in fact, hit .190 as a PH. However, his slash line with runners on base is 296/377/481. With no men on, it’s pretty awful. I think he’s reached base twice all year in those situations. This suggests that he’s swinging for the fences with the bases empty, with a total lack of success. If he comes back, maybe he ought to change his approach.

    He’s also had an impact in three Nats wins other than the Barves game. On May 20th against the Yankees, he drew a walk in the middle of the game-winning rally in a 3-2 game. On June 28 vs. Philadelphia, he singled in the middle of a 2-run rally in a 3-2 Nats win. On July 12 against the Orioles he had a base hit in the middle of a 3-run rally in a 3-2 Nats win.

    • Ghost of Steve M. - Aug 11, 2015 at 4:17 PM

      +3. He is still a scarey bat with men on base.

    • adcwonk - Aug 11, 2015 at 4:35 PM

      That June 28 game he went 3-for-4, scored a run and drove in a run — which accounted for 2 of the 3 runs the Nats scored (in that 3-2 win).

    • abqnatsfan - Aug 11, 2015 at 4:37 PM

      Uggla hasn’t been great, but i do agree, for a bench bat, he has helped this year. The last month or so he seemed to have the bottom drop out, but he has helped enough times that I am glad we had him, and glad he is now on dl until September.

      • rlndtln - Aug 11, 2015 at 4:44 PM

        He was so great we did not even replace him.He can not hit,run or field.No team in baseball will sign him next year.

      • virginiascopist - Aug 11, 2015 at 4:47 PM

        Assuming Uggla’s injury is real (not phantom so as to allow Stras to be re-activated without DFA’ing or optioning anybody), said injury might explain the his relative ineffectiveness over recent weeks.

      • abqnatsfan - Aug 11, 2015 at 5:01 PM

        I believe the phrase I used was “hasn’t been great”. I think expecting a bench player would be “great” is very optimistic, but sure, hope for it. I also say I am glad he is on the dl now, as his recent performance hasn’t seemed very good to me.

        I am still glad for the things he did earlier in the year, and for a bench player, I felt good with his contributions in the first half.

        Now, to your recent drum banging that when den Deker went down, it should have been Uggla, I think that is a reasonable wish, though diminishing in the rear view mirror by the day.At this point, I don’t think either of them is better than what we have on the team (the idea of dumping Fister is quixotic as far as I can evaluate).

        Anyway, keep posting, I do find some interesting ideas under your rants fairly often. I think those points might be easier to see by many of us if the rants weren’t wrapped around them as if holding to a tree during a storm.

  12. knoxvillenat - Aug 11, 2015 at 4:02 PM

    So how is Campana in the outfield? Could he also be a serviceable defensive replacement in the late innings?

    • rlndtln - Aug 11, 2015 at 4:47 PM

      For what reason.they have a guy they traded for Blevins remember him and we will not bring him up.They can not use this guy,Fister will not go down.This is your roster with no help I guess until Sept.1 or until Jason costs us a game late.

  13. everendp - Aug 11, 2015 at 5:23 PM

    Kurt Suzuki: “Seasoned MLB hitters should have different strike zones”

    http://mweb.cbssports.com/mlb/eye-on-baseball/25265905/kurt-suzuki-seasoned-mlb-hitters-should-have-different-strike-zones

    Discuss…

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