Nationals looking at Dobbs for bench role

Nationals looking at Dobbs for bench role

WASHINGTON -- In need of strengthening their bench, the Nationals have expressed interest in infielder Greg Dobbs, according to a baseball source.

The left-handed-hitting Dobbs, 33, is coming off one of his best seasons, hitting .275 with eight home runs and 49 RBIs for the Marlins.

Dobbs is best known for his days with the Phillies and helped them win a World Series title in 2008.

The Nationals had arguably one of the worst benches in the Major Leagues in 2011, and manager Davey Johnson was not happy that it was built on speed and defense. In 2012, Johnson wants bench players who can drive in runs. Dobbs can do that. In fact, Dobbs was 10-for-27 (.370) with a home run and eight RBIs as a pinch-hitter this past season.

Besides Dobbs, the Nationals have already talked to Mark DeRosa about joining the team. Johnson managed DeRosa in the World Baseball Classic in 2009. The Nationals showed interest in DeRosa after it was learned that Chris Marrero would be lost until the All-Star break because of a torn left hamstring.

The Nationals have also talked about bringing Willie Harris back to the team. Harris spent three years with the Nationals before signing with the Mets last year. As a member of the Nationals, Harris was a popular figure in the clubhouse. His best season in Washington was in 2008 when he hit .251 with 13 home runs and 43 RBIs.

Bill Ladson is a reporter for MLB.com and writes an MLBlog, All Nats All the time. He also could be found on Twitter @WashingNats. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.