Lee, Womack among 12 added to mix

Nationals add 12 to Spring Training mix

WASHINGTON -- The Nationals have agreed to terms on Minor League contracts with pitchers Jesus Colome, Anastacio Martinez, Luis Martinez and Arnie Munoz, outfielders George Lombard and Abraham Nunez, first baseman Travis Lee and infielders Melvin Dorta, D'Angelo Jimenez, Jose Macias, Jorge Toca and Tony Womack. All 12 players will be invited to Spring Training.

The most intriguing are Lee and Womack. Lee, who could make $500,000 if he makes the team, was signed as insurance in the event Nick Johnson doesn't recover from his broken right leg. Lee is considered an outstanding defensive first baseman but is coming off one of his worst seasons. In 114 games with the Devil Rays, the 31-year-old Lee hit .224 with 11 home runs and 31 RBIs. Tampa ended up giving him his unconditional release in early September.

"Nick Johnson is hurt, and Larry Broadway is not hitting in winter ball," general manager Jim Bowden said. "We are short on depth. Lee is a good defensive first baseman, and he's only 31. Does he make this team? I don't know. If Nick is hurt and Broadway doesn't hit and his knee acts up again, then what you are going to do?"

Womack could make $600,000 if he makes the 25-man roster. Last season, Womack played for the Reds and Cubs and hit a combined .265 with one home run and five RBIs. During his 13-year career in the big leagues, Womack has played for seven teams, including the Pirates, D-backs, Rockies, Cardinals and Yankees. He is best remembered for his years with Arizona and St. Louis. With the Womack on the roster, the teams reached the World Series in 2001 and '04, respectively.

Womack will be reunited with hitting coach Mitchell Page. They worked together in St. Louis in '04, and Womack had his best season under Page's tutelage, hitting a career-high .307 with 91 runs scored and 26 stolen bases.

"Womack, Jimenez, Josh Wilson, Dorta, Macias, Jose Thurston and Bernie Castro will compete for a utility position," Bowden said.

In other news, the Nationals outrighted infielder/outfielder Tony Blanco to Triple-A Columbus. Right-hander Jerome Williams, who signed with the club last week, has been added to the 40-man roster.

Nationals pitchers and catchers report to Spring Training on Feb. 13, and their first workout is scheduled for Feb. 15 at the Carl Barger Complex, adjacent to Space Coast Stadium.

Position players are scheduled to report on Feb. 18. The first full-squad workout will be conducted two days later. All workouts will begin at 9:15 a.m. ET.

Nationals camp is scheduled to include at least 71 players, including 31 non-roster invitees.

Bill Ladson is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.