Burriss among 4 to get spring invite from Nats
Infielder signs Minors deal, along with pitchers Broadway, Turner, Collins
WASHINGTON -- The Nationals signed four players to a Minor League deal featuring an invite to Major League Spring Training, the team announced Tuesday afternoon. Infielder Emmanuel Burriss, who played high school baseball in D.C. and has a previous stint in the team's Minor League system under his belt, leads the group that includes right-handers Mike Broadway and Jacob Turner as well as left-hander Tim Collins.
Non-roster invitees usually have a real chance of sticking with the Nats out of Spring Training; Chris Heisey and Matt Belisle both successfully made the team this past season, while Clint Robinson and Dan Uggla both made the roster in 2015.
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That makes Burriss an intriguing option, with the Nationals looking to fill a hole for their backup infielder. They traded Danny Espinosa to the Angels this past weekend, and if they are unable to re-sign Stephen Drew, they will likely look for cheaper options on the bench.
Burriss, who will turn 32 in January, was drafted by the Giants in first round of the 2006 Draft and eventually joined the Nats' organization in 2014. He spent majority of his time at Triple-A Syracuse, but he did appear in five games in Washington in 2015. Burriss spent this past season in the Phillies' organization, appearing in 50 games in the Majors. As a switch-hitter and middle infielder, he could provide some flexibility and speed off the bench.
Turner, 25, was the ninth overall selection in the 2009 Draft by the Tigers, and he was once a top prospect, rated as high as 15th overall in 2012, according to MLBPipeline.com. He has struggled every time he has made it to the Majors, most recently with the White Sox last season, when he posted a 6.57 ERA in 24 2/3 innings.
Broadway, 29, made his Major League debut in 2015 with the Giants, but he has only appeared in 25 career games in the Majors, posting a 6.75 ERA with 6.8 strikeouts per nine innings and 3.2 walks per nine innings. He also made five appearances in Japan in 2016.
Collins, 27, has undergone two Tommy John surgeries and has not pitched in the Majors since 2014. But he did have some success as a reliever with Kansas City, posting 9.4 strikeouts-per-nine innings and a 3.54 career ERA.