Nats sign reliever Josh Roenicke to minor league deal

VIERA, Fla. - Spring training will have a bit of a family feel for Ian Desmond this year.

The Nationals just signed his brother-in-law to a minor league contract with an invitation to big league spring training.

Right-handed reliever Josh Roenicke, who is married to Desmond’s sister, agreed to terms with the Nats today. The 31-year-old spent last season with the Twins, posting a 4.35 ERA in 63 games. He struck out 6.5 batters per nine innings last season and walked 5.2 per nine, and pitched to a 1.597 WHIP.

Roenicke’s strikeout-to-walk numbers have never been great, but he did put up a 3.25 ERA with the Rockies in 2012. He has also spent time with the Blue Jays and Reds.

Desmond is 2-for-3 with a triple and a home run off Roenicke in their careers. I’m sure that never, ever gets brought up at family functions.

“Can’t beat ‘em join ‘em,” Desmond tweeted at Roenicke minutes ago.

Roenicke’s family baseball ties don’t end with Desmond. Roenicke is the son of Gary Roenicke, an outfielder who played 12 seasons in the big leagues, and the nephew of Brewers manager Ron Roenicke, who played for six teams in eight big league seasons.

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