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Posted at 3:54 PM ET, 02/ 4/2011

Nationals sign three to minor league deals, invite four to spring training

By Adam Kilgore

By this time next week, Nationals players will have started trickling into Viera, Fla. for spring training, and so the Nationals are starting to finalize their roster.

Today, the Nationals signed right-handed starter J.D. Martin, catcher Carlos Maldonado and first baseman Kevin Barker to minor league contracts. Martin and Maldonado spent last year with the Nationals, and Barker, mostly a minor leaguer for 15 seasons, last appeared in the majors for the Cincinnati Reds in 2009. All three received invitations to spring training.

The Nationals also invited four of their minor leaguers to spring training: reliever Josh Wilkie (a George Washington alum), left-handed starter Matt Chico and catchers Derek Norris and Jhonathan Solano. Chico, though he is not on the 40-man roster, technically has a major-league deal. It won't affect his chances to make the roster either way.

Barring a surprise, none of the seven players will seriously compete for a spot on the 25-man roster. The Nationals added the players to provide depth in the spring and, in the case of Norris, to give one of their best prospects at-bats against major league competition. Norris, who will turn 22 on Valentine's Day, spent the early portion of last spring training in big-league camp, too.

By Adam Kilgore  | February 4, 2011; 3:54 PM ET
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Next: As spring training closes in, a look at the roster


What's really sad is that the guys listed above are actually an improvement over 75% of the players on the 25 man roster.

Talk about a bad team.....

Posted by: P00PY_MCP00P | February 4, 2011 4:22 PM | Report abuse

What's really sad is that the guys listed above are actually an improvement over 75% of the players on the 25 man roster.

Talk about a bad team.....

Posted by: P00PY_MCP00P

POOP, now that's not a nice thing for you to say about the Orioles. I'm sure there are 50% of the Birds who are better than Martin, Maldonaldo, and Barker.

Lay off smoking the poop, POOP!

Posted by: stantonpark | February 4, 2011 4:45 PM | Report abuse

stantonpark, when will you guys learn that nothing is to be gained by feeding the troll.

Posted by: bbigtim | February 4, 2011 5:43 PM | Report abuse

stantonpark, when will you guys learn that nothing is to be gained by feeding the troll.

Posted by: bbigtim | February 4, 2011 5:43 PM | Report abuse

O's just signed Vlad too. Even at his age he's still better than all but 1 player the Natinals have now.


Posted by: P00PY_MCP00P | February 4, 2011 6:40 PM | Report abuse

Only trouble with your long look down the nose at the Nats is Vlad couldn't play in the NL with no wheels--full-time DH now

Posted by: JobActor | February 4, 2011 7:16 PM | Report abuse

Getting ready to comment on the O's getting Vlad but i saw you know who's post........................................................ never mind.

Posted by: dargregmag | February 4, 2011 8:09 PM | Report abuse

Matt Antonelli signing is getting no love anywhere. Guy was a top 50 prospect a couple of years ago until injuries hit. Think his signing is going under the radar. Like to see him make a push to make the team.

Posted by: Crashdavis | February 4, 2011 8:40 PM | Report abuse

@Crashdavis: Antonelli is in the same situation as Flores, and a few others in the Orginization imo - Prove he's healthy first, then move forward. He'll initially report to the 'back fields' in minor-league camp, but hope springs eternal when you have a contract.

Posted by: BinM | February 4, 2011 8:53 PM | Report abuse

@dargramps (& many others): The posters on RI (Redskins Insider) have learned to blow past troll posts on WaPo boards - We, as a group on NJ need to develop a thicker skin and learn to do the same.

Don't let them intimidate or offend you off the board, just consider the source & move along is my best advice.

Posted by: BinM | February 4, 2011 9:07 PM | Report abuse

At some level, keeping the Troll off the board, and others like him (her? nah, there is no woman that stupid) is the responsibility of the WaPo, if they want these discussions to be attractive.

BTW, bottom of the 6th, 2 outs, Puerto Rico leads D.R. 2-1, both P.R. runs scored by our own Alex Cora!!!

Posted by: mikecatcher50 | February 4, 2011 9:58 PM | Report abuse

Bin M; Good advice bro!!

Posted by: dargregmag | February 4, 2011 10:16 PM | Report abuse

Nah, Bin (and no offense, dargreg), no need to hold up RI as an example: the trolls simply took over that board, and not because the civil regulars fed or ignored them.

That's just the interwebs.

Posted by: stevie_in_gp | February 4, 2011 11:10 PM | Report abuse

I'm with mikecatcher50 on the troll. Not worth visiting here with its pollution.

Posted by: nats24 | February 5, 2011 2:01 AM | Report abuse

I've been watching some of the games, too, mikecatcher. Saw former Nat Luis Ayala closing out a game for Mexico (in a non-save situation). The first baseman didn't do him any favors by letting a grounder go right through the (widely spaced) wickets. I thought he was doing the splits out there! Just noticed that team Mexico has a Mario Mendoza on the roster. Lucky for him, he's a pitcher, not a hitter. Wonder whether he's any relation to the Mendoza of "the line"?

Also noticed that another former Nat, Saul Rivera, is on the Puerto Rico roster, though I've not seen him yet. Not that I've watched every pitch, because I haven't. (Can't talk my hubby into watching much of it.)

Interesting to see the ageless Julio Franco at the helm for Venezuela.

Yesterday, I understood my first live commentary without resorting to a dictionary (buenos días, buenos tardes, buenos noches - you can guess the context on that one :-)).

Posted by: natsfan1a1 | February 5, 2011 10:33 AM | Report abuse

Yeah, this site has really taken a nose dive since 2006. Have you noticed that there are only about 10 people who post to this site anymore. Most people don't want to go through the aggravation anymore. Too Bad. WAPO should just shut it down like most of the other blogs have.

Posted by: natsguy | February 5, 2011 10:51 AM | Report abuse

The thing is, it isn't the trolls driving people away--it's the feeding of them.
Speaking for myself, anyway.

Back in the Blogfather's time, and the Early Harlan Period, the Hoser Exec (a far superior troll to anything here these days) didn't scare or bore anyone off, and indeed eventually was won over, to some extent, before he went on to wherever.

Posted by: Sec3mysofa | February 5, 2011 11:27 AM | Report abuse

>>Yeah, this site has really taken a nose dive since 2006. Posted by: natsguy

Do you honestly think that's because of a few "troll" writers or more likely because of the consistently bad performance of the Nats that has simply worn down the once optimistic and excited fans.

Posted by: skins_fan_22 | February 5, 2011 12:21 PM | Report abuse

Yeah, this site has really taken a nose dive since 2006. Have you noticed that there are only about 10 people who post to this site anymore.
Posted by: natsguy

About the same as the ratio of fans left in the park on an average night. Figure it out. I used to go to 20-30 games a year, but wouldn't dish out a penny to watch these clowns now.

Posted by: Brue | February 5, 2011 1:59 PM | Report abuse

Yeah, I sure wonder whatever happened to the poster, "O's Exec" ?

I'm sure he/she is around here somewhere....................

Posted by: P00PY_MCP00P | February 5, 2011 3:08 PM | Report abuse

Just a random thought - If Rizzo currently has any trades in the wheelhouse, here's where I think he has value available in Spring Ttraining...

CA: One of either Ramos/Flores/Norris.
1B: Marrero or one of the minor-leaguers (Aubrey/Moore).
2B & 3B: Minor-leaguers only.
SS: Desmond.
OF: Anybody other than Werth.
SP: Anyone outside of Strasburg, JZimm, or the 2010 signees.
RP: Clippard, Stammen, Balester, Carr from the 40-man; Plenty of others from the minors.

Nothing in the wind, just food for thought.

Posted by: BinM | February 5, 2011 3:56 PM | Report abuse

That would be more likely, Brue, if almost all of the old posters, and then some, weren't still posting. They are still around, just not in here.

That said, there's a reason I'm sitting in this section.

Posted by: Sec3mysofa | February 5, 2011 4:13 PM | Report abuse

I mean, besides Hawpe's home run ball.

Posted by: Sec3mysofa | February 5, 2011 4:16 PM | Report abuse

As one of old hands on this blog, I have not detected any decrease in numbers of comments in this post. Some of the "old timers" have quit posting (JennX is particulary missed ), But 1/2 Street, BinhM, Brue (despite his current state disenchantment, temporary I'm sure, and from time to time SCNATS Fan among othrs still post. And the new people provide welcome and entertaining insight. As for our troll, he has run out of things to say and will be boring until the season starts and either the NATS perform well and he goes away or they give him more ammunition to spew forth.

Sec 204 Row H Seat 7

Posted by: adhardwick | February 6, 2011 12:18 PM | Report abuse

Hopefully that O's_Exec guy comes back.

He sounds like one of the smarter posters on here.

Posted by: P00PY_MCP00P | February 6, 2011 12:51 PM | Report abuse

Football is over, long live the King!

Posted by: natbiscuits | February 6, 2011 10:30 PM | Report abuse

9 days until Pitchers & Catchers report for spring training! GO NATS!!!

Posted by: mink23 | February 7, 2011 11:20 AM | Report abuse

I find the troll easy enough to ignore. Still some good posts and discussions here, so please keep it up.

Posted by: KenNat | February 7, 2011 12:56 PM | Report abuse

I feel bad for Natinals fans. I really do. I mean, it's February 7 and by March 7 Natinal fans will already realize their 2011 Natinals won't be competitive at all. Another wasted season.

C'mon over Natinal fans. O's are gonna dominate MLB, and the O's and Peter Angelos will welcome you back as fans with open arms.

Posted by: P00PY_MCP00P | February 7, 2011 12:59 PM | Report abuse

It's all Greek to me.

It's all Greek to me.

Θεωρώ κακό για natinals ανεμιστήρες. Εγώ είμαι πραγματικά. Εννοώ, θα τις 7 Φεβρουαρίου και Μαρτίου 7 εσωτερικού φιλάθλων θα έχουν ήδη πραγματοποιήσει το 2011 natinals δεν θέλει να είναι ανταγωνιστική σε όλους. Άλλη μια χαμένη σεζόν. c"MON επί εσωτερικού ανεμιστήρες. O είναι gonna κυριαρχούν mlb, και η o και Peter 'Αγγελο θα σας καλωσορίζω πίσω ως φίλαθλοι με ανοιχτές αγκάλες. Αποσπασμένοι από: p00py_mcp00p | Φεβρουαρίου 7, 2011 12:59 μ. μ.

Posted by: natsfan1a1 | February 7, 2011 1:08 PM | Report abuse

You know what I like to do?

I like to take a block of text and run it through one of those online auto-translators. The results are often amusing.

For example, I just ran natsfan's Greek above through the Babelfish translator. Here's how it came out:

I consider villain for natinals fans. I I am really. I mean, 7 February and March of 7 internal sports fans already they will have realised in 2011 natinals it does not want she is competitive in all. An other lost season. c"? MON on interior fans. Gonna does dominate mlb, and o and is Peter '? [Aggelo] I will behind welcome you as sports fans with open embraces.

Extracted from: p00py_mcp00p | February 7, 2011 12:59 m. m.

The REALLY funny thing is, this makes more sense than the original. Go figure...

"I will behind welcome you..." Yeah, that sounds about right...

Posted by: gilbertbp | February 7, 2011 1:38 PM | Report abuse

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