Three veterans officially added to major league roster

Matt Barnes Marlins black away

PORT ST. LUCIE, Fla. – The Nationals officially purchased the contracts of outfielders Eddie Rosario and Jesse Winker, plus reliever Matt Barnes, this morning, moving a step closer to finalizing their Opening Day roster.

Rosario, Winker and Barnes all made the club after coming to camp on minor league deals. They could be joined by reliever Derek Law, who appears to have made the team but hasn’t officially had his contract purchased yet.

Rosario, Winker and Barnes’ fates were determined Friday night when the Nationals optioned outfielders Alex Call and Jacob Young to Triple-A Rochester and reassigned reliever Jacob Barnes to minor league camp, settling those spring competitions for jobs.

Rosario and Winker join Lane Thomas and Victor Robles as the Nats’ four-man outfield to open the season. Manager Davey Martinez expects all to receive playing time, with Rosario playing both left and center fields, and Winker playing left field and serving as designated hitter at times.

“As I always say, things always play themselves out,” Martinez said. “I hope they both do really well. … They’re both going to help us, big time.”

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Late-night cuts leave Nats with only one more roster decision

Trey Lipscomb spring training

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. – The Nationals made four more cuts following tonight’s split-squad, day-night doubleheader, and in the process left themselves with only one more decision to make before their Opening Day roster is set.

The club optioned outfielders Alex Call and Jacob Young and catcher Drew Millas to Triple-A Rochester and reassigned reliever Jacob Barnes to minor league camp, leaving only 27 healthy players remaining heading into the final day of spring training.

The demotions of Call and Young leave the Nationals with four remaining outfielders, all of whom are expected to make the team: Lane Thomas, Victor Robles, Eddie Rosario and Jesse Winker. The latter two, who are on minor league contracts, will need to be added to the 40-man roster.

The demotion of Millas leaves the Nats’ catching tandem from the majority of the last two seasons (Keibert Ruiz and Riley Adams) intact.

The reassignment of Barnes, who pitched a scoreless inning tonight and finished the spring with an 0.87 ERA and 15 strikeouts in 10 1/3 innings, appears to solidify the Nationals’ Opening Day bullpen. Barring a late addition from outside the organization, the eight-man relief corps will include Kyle Finnegan, Hunter Harvey, Dylan Floro, Tanner Rainey, Jordan Weems, Derek Law, Matt Barnes and Robert Garcia (the lone left-hander in the group). Law and Barnes, who signed minor league deals after camp began, will also need to be added to the 40-man roster.

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Nats sign veteran Barnes to help fill spring pitching need

Jacob Barnes Tigers white

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. – A Nationals club in need of more pitching depth this spring – and perhaps beyond – added another arm to the mix today, signing veteran reliever Jacob Barnes to a minor league deal with an invitation to big league camp.

Barnes, 33, has considerable experience, having pitched in 265 major league games since 2016 for eight different franchises. His best success came early in with the Brewers, for whom he delivered a 3.93 ERA and 1.359 WHIP in 167 games from 2016-19. He has since pitched for the Royals, Angels, Mets, Blue Jays, Tigers, Yankees and Cardinals.

The right-hander appeared in 13 games for St. Louis late last season, finishing with a 5.93 ERA and 1.537 WHIP. That came after he enjoyed consistent success for the Triple-A affiliates of the Rangers, Phillies and Cardinals, posting a 2.47 ERA and 1.314 WHIP in 35 games.

Barnes, who already has a locker in the Nationals clubhouse, is expected to report in the next day or two and then try to make his case for a spot in the Opening Day bullpen.

“Another guy we feel like should still have something left in the tank,” manager Davey Martinez said. “We’re going to give him an opportunity. He’ll strengthen our bullpen. He’ll be here soon. I can’t wait to get eyes on him. … Here’s a guy that’s been a competitor. I think he’ll fit right in. You can’t have enough arms. We’re going to give him an opportunity in spring training and see what he can do.”

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