As Miami struggled, Dobbs watched his NL East rival string together consecutive successful seasons, including a division title in 2012.
"I chose here because I wanted to sign here three years ago out of free agency," Dobbs said. "Watching that for the last 2 1/2 years from the other side, I like to think I'm pretty smart."
Dobbs was released by Miami on May 6 after starting the season 1-for-13, and just a few days later, he was on the phone with Washington general manager Mike Rizzo. The GM, along with assistant GM Doug Harris, decided that Dobbs would head down to Viera, Fla., for a "mini Spring Training," Dobbs said.
The utility man played six games in Viera, and the Nats officially announced Dobbs' signing on Monday before adding him to the Major League roster on Friday.
"It's been a whirlwind," Dobbs said. "It's the first time I've been through something like this in my career."
The utility man -- capable of playing both corner infield and corner outfield spots -- joins the Nationals in the midst of an up-and-down stretch, though. The Nats' Opening Day first baseman, third baseman and left fielder are all on the disabled list. Dobbs has the ability to fill all of those spots and provide the Nationals with an experienced left-handed bat off the bench.
That, and Washington is now the third NL East team that Dobbs will play for. Dobbs also played for the Phillies from 2007-2010.
"He's familiar with the National League East," Nats manager Matt Williams said. "He's a professional hitter off the bench."
David Wilson is a contributor to MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.