Nats ink Carroll to minor league deal; Rijo a fugitive in Dominican

The Nationals added some outfield depth to the organization Monday with the signing of Brett Carroll to a minor league deal with an invitation to spring training in Viera, Fla.

The 29-year-old Carroll has spent parts of five seasons in the majors with the Marlins and Brewers. A 10th-round pick by the Marlins in the 2004 draft, Carroll is a career .203 hitter with five home runs and 28 RBIs in 175 games.

The addition of Carroll helps the Nationals replace Erik Komatsu, who was taken by the Cardinals in the Rule 5 draft Thursday at the Winter Meetings in Dallas. The move was first reported by nationals.com.

Meanwhile, according to this story, the Nationals' former director of Latin American operations, Jose RIjo, is a fugitive in the Dominican Republic.Contempt of court charges have been levied against Rijo, a former Reds pitcher who has twice failed to report for questioning about his relationship with another fugitive, Matías Avelino Castro, who is wanted for the murder of a journalist. Rijo will be arrested between now and Dec. 24, according to Dominican authorities.

Rijo, who served for four years as a special assistant to Nationals general manager Jim Bowden, also ran the Dominican-based baseball academy where the Nationals found teenage shortstop Esmailyn "Smiley" Gonzalez, who was later signed to a $1.4 million contract. Three years after signing the player, who they thought was 16, the Nationals discovered Gonzalez was actually named Carlos Alvarez and was four years older than he had claimed.

The Nationals fired Rijo on Feb. 26, 2009, three days before Bowden resigned under scrutiny from a federal investigation into the skimming of Latin American players' bonuses. Alvarez, now 26, remains in the Washington organization, and hit .354 last year against much younger pitchers in for the Rookie League Gulf Coast League Nationals and short-season Single-A Auburn.

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