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Nats add veteran Hill to backup catcher competition

Signing gives Washington seven backstops in Major League Spring Training

WASHINGTON -- The Nationals added another veteran to their backup catcher competition on Wednesday, signing Koyie Hill to a Minor League contract that includes an invitation to Major League Spring Training.

The club inked Chris Snyder to a similar deal in December, and the two non-roster invitees will join Jhonatan Solano and Sandy Leon in the competition to back up starter Wilson Ramos.

Hill, a switch-hitter with a strong defensive reputation, will turn 35 in March. He has spent parts of 10 seasons in the big leagues with the Dodgers, D-backs, Cubs and Marlins, playing 18 games for Miami last year while spending much of his time at Triple-A. In 331 career games, Hill has hit .206/.266/.287, with eight home runs and 76 RBIs.

Hill also has a history with the organization. He signed with Washington as a free agent in June 2012, but was released two months later after playing 31 games at Triple-A Syracuse. Hill also played for Arizona from 2004-05, when Nats general manager Mike Rizzo was the organization's director of scouting.

With the acquisition of Hill, the Nationals are slated to have seven catchers in big league camp this spring. Brian Jeroloman and Jeff Howell also have received invitations.

Andrew Simon is a reporter for Follow him on Twitter @AndrewSimonMLB.
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