Veteran outfielder Roger Bernadina has agreed to a minor-league contract with the Reds, according to Mark Sheldon of MLB.com.
Bernadina, who split last season between the Nationals and Phillies, will try to win a bench spot on a spring training invitation.
Muscle Shark had a very nice 2012 season for Washington, but he failed to crack a .700 OPS in 2010, 2011, or 2013 and is a 30-year-old career .239 hitter with a .666 OPS.
Roger Bernadina was very supportive of his pitching staff today, making a pair of impressive catches to help keep the Diamondback offense at bay. The athleticism is made all the more impressive considering that this afternoon’s game started just 11 hours after last night’s knock-down, drag-out, 18-inning affair ended.
The first great grab occurred In the third inning. The Phillies were leading 4-2, but the Diamondbacks were trying to mount a two-out rally with a runner on first base. Matt Davidson smoked a Roy Halladay fastball to straightaway center. Bernadina turned his back and tracked the ball just to the side of the 401 foot marker before leaping and snagging the ball before it could touch down beyond the fence.
The second grab came in the seventh. The Phillies had strengthened their lead to 9-2 and the Diamondbacks were running out of time. With the bases empty and one out, Tuffy Gosewich hit a Cesar Jimenez change-up to shallow left-center. Left fielder Darin Ruf, not exactly the most fleet of foot, had no shot at it and it looked as if it was going to be a lucky hit for the catcher. Bernadina laid out and snagged the ball inches above the grass, recording the second out.
On offense, Bernadina finished the day with a hit and two runs batted in.
Bernadina was released by the Nationals on August 19. On the 21st, the Phillies announced they had signed the outfielder to a Major League contract. Though he hasn’t hit much, he has filled the team’s pressing need for a capable center fielder. Since Ben Revere went on the disabled list with a broken ankle, the Phillies have mostly relied on John Mayberry in center, but have also tried Michael Martinez and Casper Wells without much success.
This would have been a lot more fun before the Nationals-Phillies rivalry involved a pair of sub-.500 teams, but Roger Bernadina has signed with Philadelphia after being released by Washington.
Bernadina lost his spot on the Nationals’ bench following the trade for David DeJesus, but before struggling this season he’s generally been a decent fourth outfielder who can play all three outfield spots and be semi-useful offensively.
This year Bernadina hit just .178, but from 2010-2012 he batted .256 with a .703 OPS in 1,059 plate appearances. And if the Phillies like how he plays down the stretch he’ll be under team control via arbitration for next season.
Mark Zuckerman of CSNWashington.com reports that the Nationals have acquired outfielder David DeJesus from the Cubs for a player to be named later.
Washington is 60-63 and 9.5 games out of a playoff spot, so the pickup obviously isn’t for this season. DeJesus’ contract includes a $6.5 million team option (or $1.5 million buyout) for next year, which isn’t a crazy price to pay for a decent regular like DeJesus, but the Nationals already have Bryce Harper, Jayson Werth, and Denard Span seemingly locked in as their 2014 outfield.
DeJesus is a left-handed hitter, so he doesn’t really fit as a platoon partner for Span, and $6.5 million would be awfully expensive for a fourth outfielder. Since signing a two-year, $10 million deal with the Cubs last offseason the 33-year-old DeJesus has hit .258 with 15 homers and a .746 OPS in 232 games while seeing time in all three outfield spots.
To make room for DeJesus’ arrival the Nationals released Roger Bernadina, who had been serving as their left-handed-hitting fourth outfielder. He’s hit just .178 in 85 games this season, but came into the year as a career .252 hitter with a .692 OPS.