Nationals sign veteran infielder Brendan Ryan

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Brendan Ryan, who was traded from the Yankees to the Cubs and then released as part of the Starlin Castro trade in December, has agreed to a minor-league contract with the Nationals.

Ryan has spent the past decade as one of the best-fielding, worst-hitting shortstops in baseball. He’s a career .234 hitter with a .610 OPS and now at age 34 it’s possible his elite defense has begun slipping as well.

His deal includes an invitation to spring training, where he’ll compete for a spot on Washington’s bench in what has become a pretty crowded infield picture for the Nationals.