WASHINGTON -- Before the 2006 season ended, catcher Robert Fick said he wanted to return to the Nationals and play with Brian Schneider and Nick Johnson again. Fick will get his wish, as Washington signed him to a Minor League contract with an invitation to Spring Training on Wednesday.
If he makes the Opening Day roster, Fick will earn $850,000, the same salary he received in '06.
With Marlon Anderson and Daryle Ward no longer on the roster, Fick has a chance to be the Nationals' top player off the bench. Besides catching, Fick can play the corner outfield spots and first base. In fact, after talking to manager Manny Acta and general manager Jim Bowden on the phone, Fick feels he can get at least 300 at-bats.
"I like Washington, that's the No. 1 reason for coming back," Fick said. "The opportunity is there. With [Alfonso Soriano] gone, that leaves left field open with more playing time. I can catch behind Schneider and the young kid [Jesus Flores]. Daryle Ward is not there. Marlon Anderson is not there. So it's a chance for me to be the top guy off the bench. I feel lucky that the team wants me back."
Injuries limited Fick to 60 games in '06. He hit .266 with two home runs and nine RBIs, and Washington was 11-7 when he started behind the plate.
Bill Ladson is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.