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Nationals sign free agent Gerardo Parra


UPDATE: ESPN is now reporting that they have, in fact, signed Parra and he will join the Nationals when they get to Los Angeles for this weekend’s series against the Dodgers.

11:31 AM: Sam Fortier of the Washington Post reports that the Washington Nationals are “progressing toward a deal” with free agent outfielder Gerardo Parra. He says nothing official yet.

Parra, 32, was designated for assignment by the Giants on Friday. Yesterday he refused an outright assignment to the minors and became a free agent. Parra signed a minor league contract with the Giants in February, paying him a $1.75 million salary as a major leaguer. He made the 25-man roster out of spring training, but proceeded to struggle offensively. Parra hit a meager .198/.278/.267 with a home run and six RBI across 97 plate appearances.

The Nationals have been riddled with injuries lately and, currently, have Juan Soto, Trea Turner, Matt Adams and Ryan Zimmerman on the injured list. Parra is not much of an offensive threat these days, but this is the big leagues so you can’t use ghost men and stuff. A warm body is better than an empty patch of grass.

Padres are giving Ron Washington a second interview

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Last week there was a report that the San Diego Padres were doing “due diligence” on former Rangers manager and current Braves third base coach Ron Washington in connection with their managerial opening. The Fort Worth Star-Telegram reports today that Washington has already had an interview and that, in fact, the Padres are planning to call him back for a second round.

Also getting a second look: Rangers field coordinator Jayce Tingler. Which suggests that GM A.J. Preller, formerly a Rangers assistant GM, is favoring guys he knows from his time in Texas.

Washington managed the Texas Rangers from 2007 into 2014, winning two pennants and compiling a record of 664-611 (.521). He stepped down for personal reasons but since then has returned to the job in which he made his considerable reputation: coaching, specifically coaching infielders, and has gotten rave reviews. Assuming he’s back up for the grind of managing — and he wouldn’t be interviewing if he was not — he is definitely someone based on results and reputation who deserves another shot at the helm.

Tingler, a former Rangers farm hand, has coached in their organization at both the minor and major league levels for 12 years.