Nats sign pitcher-turned-first baseman Micah Owings to minor league deal

The minor league deals are coming fast and furious now. And this one’s pretty interesting.

The Nationals have agreed to terms with first baseman Micah Owings on a minor league deal with an invitation to big league spring training.

Yes, you read that correctly. Owings, a former starter turned reliever who went 8-0 with a 3.57 ERA in 2011 and picked up a win in the postseason, is now a position player.

The 30-year-old Owings, who was drafted by the Diamondbacks when Nats general manager Mike Rizzo was in their front office, is a .283 hitter over 205 career at-bats. He has also posted a career .813 OPS and has nine big league home runs.

Sounds like the dude has some pop.

Owings has a career 4.86 ERA and only appeared in six games at the big league level last season, going 0-2 with a 2.79 ERA with the Padres.

He appeared in one game as a first baseman at Triple-A last season, recording five putouts and taking part in one double play.

This is an incredibly low-risk signing for the Nats, but should Owings find some success as a position player, he could provide some decent organizational depth.

Plus, if an extra arm is ever needed during a blowout or an 18-inning game, we know he could take the ball for a while.

The Nats, of course, had Rick Ankiel on their roster for parts of the last two seasons - a former pitcher who also made the major leagues as a position player. Now we’ll see if Owings can do the same.

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