Nats sign Livan Hernandez

The Nationals have signed Livan Hernandez to a minor league contract with an invitation to spring training, according to a team source.

It gives them the additional veteran pitcher they’ve been seeking all spring, and brings Hernandez - the team’s Opening Day starter in 2005 and 2006 - back to the Nationals for the third time.

Hernandez signed with the Nationals last August after being released by the Mets, and went 2-4 with a 5.36 ERA in eight starts. He’s got a decent chance of making the rotation, as it seems like the Nationals would prefer to have another veteran innings-eater they could turn to if their young pitchers don’t pan out.

He said after last season that he wanted to come back to Washington and talked off-and-on with the Nationals at different points in the offseason. The 35-year-old right-hander has pitched for five teams in the last three seasons.