Nationals ink Uggla, Bell to minor league deals

Washington, DC ( – The Washington Nationals agreed to
minor league contracts with former All-Stars Dan Uggla and Heath Bell, the
team announced Friday.

Both will receive invitations to the Nationals’ major league spring training
camp per their deals.

Uggla, 34, struggled at the plate last season, hitting just .162 with two home
runs and 10 RBI in 48 games for Atlanta. He was released on July 18 and signed
by the Giants, who also released him after only four games.

The three-time All-Star, most recently in 2012, has hit for a .243 average
with 233 homers and 690 RBI in 1,279 career games over nine seasons with the
Marlins, Braves and Giants.

Bell led the National League with 42 saves while with San Diego in 2009 and
saved 47 and 43 games, respectively, for the Padres in the following two
seasons. However, the veteran right-hander’s career went into a tailspin after
he signed with the Miami Marlins prior to the 2012 campaign.

The 37-year-old pitched for three different organizations (Rays, Orioles,
Yankees) last season before being released by New York in June. Bell was cut
loose by Tampa Bay in May after posting a 7.27 earned run average in 13
appearances for the Rays.

Infielder Ian Stewart, who hit 25 homers for Colorado in 2009, also signed a
minor league deal with an invitation to spring training with Washington on
Friday. The 29-year-old saw action in 24 games with the Angels last season,
but hit just .176 with two home runs and 7 RBI.