Nats, Harris Agree
From Dave Sheinin:
The Washington Nationals today agreed to terms with outfielder Willie Harris to a two-year, $3 million contract. Nationals Senior Vice President and General Manager Jim Bowden made the announcement.
The versatile and durable Harris enjoyed a career year in first season with the Nationals, when set career highs with 13 home runs, 43 RBI and a .417 slugging percentage.
Harris, 30, not only led Washington in most offensive categories in last season's season half, he played five defensive positions (left field, center field, second base, shortstop, third base) for Manny Acta. He joined Cristian Guzman as the only two position players to maintain a roster spot last season by avoiding a stint on the Disabled List. His 140 games played led all Nationals.
Harris's 13 home runs ranked third among Nationals and nearly doubled his career total entering the 2008 season. Meanwhile, his 50 walks tied Elijah Dukes for the team lead and were just one shy of his career high. He is a career .248 hitter in eight big league seasons with Washington, Atlanta, Boston, Chicago (AL) and Baltimore.
Also today, the Nationals announced they did not tender a 2009 contract to right-handed pitcher Tim Redding. The Nats hope to re-sign Redding but didn't want to pay him the 3 million or so he would get via arbitration.
The Nationals did offer 2009 contracts to third baseman Ryan Zimmerman, outfielder Josh Willingham, left-handed pitcher Scott Olsen and right-handed pitcher Shawn Hill. Nationals Senior Vice President and General Manager Jim Bowden made the announcements.
Zimmerman, Willingham, Olsen and Hill are the only four Nationals that remain arbitration eligible.
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