Call it a baseball reunion. The Nationals signed left-hander Mike Stanton to a one-year, $1 million contract Saturday.
Stanton, 38, will become the first player in baseball history to have two stints with the Nationals. He played most of the second half of the 2005 season with the Nationals before being traded to the Red Sox for Minor League right-handers Ryhs Taylor and Yader Peralta on Sept. 29.
"You can't ever have enough depth in the bullpen," general manager Jim Bowden said.
Last season, Stanton went 2-1 with a 3.58 ERA in 30 games for the Nationals after signing with the club as a free agent July 13. Stanton started the season with the Yankees, who released him July 11. Stanton posted a 7.07 ERA in 28 games for New York.
Stanton said that he went back to the Nationals for two reasons. He wanted to keep his family on the East Coast (his children go to school in New Jersey) and that he enjoyed playing for manager Frank Robinson.
"The Nationals have a good bunch of guys and I enjoyed my time in Washington," Stanton said. "Anybody that knows me realize that my family comes first and I want to be close to them during the season."
Stanton is expected to join Joey Eischen as two of the left-handers out of the bullpen.
Bill Ladson is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.