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Nationals ink Clay Hensley to minor league contract

Jan 21, 2014, 11:00 PM EDT

clay hensley getty Getty Images

As first reported by beat writer Bill Ladson of, the Nationals have signed right-handed reliever Clay Hensley to a minor league contract with a formal invitation to major league spring training.

Hensley posted a 2.16 ERA and 77 strikeouts in 75 innings for the Marlins in 2010 and he won a World Series ring in 2012 with the Giants. But he spent the entire 2013 season in either Triple-A or independent ball and is highly doubtful to find a spot in the Nats’ talented bullpen for the start of the 2014 campaign.

Hensley, 34, owns a 4.00 career ERA and 1.37 career WHIP in 517 major league innings.

  1. dirtyharry1971 - Jan 22, 2014 at 9:05 AM

    bluejays let this one go also

    At the moment, Anthopoulos sounds as though he’s suffering from sticker shock. On Thursday, Sportsnet’s Shi Davidi tweeted, “AA again says acquisition cost for FA pitchers and arms in trade too high at the moment.” That’s fairly typical GM posturing; Anthopoulos knows he needs to make a splash to reassure the Blue Jays’ fan base that the team still intends to contend in 2014.

  2. natstowngreg - Jan 22, 2014 at 9:38 AM

    More organizational depth. Nice story if he makes the Nats’ roster, but it’s unlikely. Probably, part of Syracuse’s pitching staff.

    • gloccamorra - Jan 23, 2014 at 11:16 PM

      Hensley was a starter in 2007 with the Padres and was their best starter in the second half. He’s the reason Bruce Bochy moved to the Giants.

      In the post-season, Hensley was used as 7th inning relief because Bochy used the recently acquired David Wells as a starter. The club prez, Sandy Alderson, thought Hensley should have started, and though Bochy had another year as manager, Alderson told him it was okay to look for another job. Bochy took the Giants manager job and Alderson released him from the last year of his contract.

      Bochy was apparently a terrible manager who won only four division titles in ten years, but apparently learned from the “Hensley Incident” how to manage the Giant to two World Series championships.

  3. dirtyharry1971 - Jan 22, 2014 at 9:43 AM

    as you can see the jays desperately need pitching

    Unfinished business: Starting pitching

    The rotation is full of question marks, starting with frontmen Dickey and Buehrle, neither of whom lived up to expectations in 2013. J.A. Happ, Brandon Morrow and Todd Redmond, the three pitchers currently penciled in to round out the unit, combined for just 42 big league starts and a 4.78 ERA (85 ERA+) in 2013 due to injuries and mediocrity. Happ missed 77 games after being hit in the head by a line drive, while Morrow lost four months to an entrapped nerve in his forearm; he’s totaled just 31 starts over the past two seasons. Between that trio, holdovers Kyle Drabek and Esmil Rogers and prospects Marcus Stroman and Sean Nolin — both of whom spent nearly all of last season at Double-A — the team has a variety of back-rotation options but nothing close to a sure thing who can fill a mid-rotation role.

    As such, the Blue Jays have scouted Japanese hurler Masahiro Tanaka, though they’re not serious players to sign him. They’re said to be a leading candidate to sign Ervin Santana or Ubaldo Jimenez

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