Nov 21, 2015, 12:48 PM EDT
Updated at 1:35 p.m.
The Nationals have signed Chris Heisey and Scott Sizemore to minor-league contracts, offering the veteran outfielder and infielder opportunities to come to big-league camp next spring and compete for a spot on the Opening Day roster.
Heisey, who turns 31 next month, spent most of his 6-year career in Cincinnati, where he played for former Reds manager Dusty Baker. He signed with the Dodgers this season, though, and wound up bouncing back and forth between Los Angeles and Class AAA Oklahoma City (with a brief stop at the Blue Jays’ Class AAA affiliate in August).
Heisey appeared in only 33 major-league games this year, hitting .182 with two homers (including a grand slam), a .347 on-base percentage and .674 OPS. He got far more consistent playing time the previous five seasons in Cincinnati, hitting a combined .247 with 50 homers, a .299 on-base percentage and .721 OPS in 543 games.
A right-handed hitter, Heisey might not be an ideal fit for the Nationals, who are seeking a left-handed outfielder to back up Jayson Werth and Michael Taylor. But his ability to play all three outfield positions, his track record as a successful pinch-hitter — .936 OPS in 160 career plate appearances — and his connection to Baker (now the Nationals’ manager) could still earn him a spot on the Opening Day roster.
For the moment, Heisey likely would be competing with 39-year-old Reed Johnson (who recently re-signed on a minor-league deal after an injury-plagued 2015) for a spot on the Nationals’ bench.
Sizemore, who turns 31 in January, owns a .240 batting average, .327 on-base percentage and .710 OPS in 166 career big-league games with the Tigers, Athletics and Yankees. A third baseman and second baseman, the Virginia Beach native and former VCU star spent the 2015 season at Class AAA in both the Nationals and Marlins’ systems, hitting a combined .263 with a .369 on-base percentage in 77 games.
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