The Nationals have signed right-hander Clay Hensley to a minor-league contract with an invitation to spring training, adding a veteran reliever to the competition for the one or two jobs that will be up for grabs in Viera.
Hensley, 34, is a veteran of seven major-league seasons and sports a 4.00 ERA in 271 career appearances (41 starts) with the Padres, Marlins and Giants. He posted a 2.16 ERA as recently as 2010, when he pitched in 68 games and notched seven saves for Florida.
Hensley, perhaps best known for giving up Barry Bonds’ record-tying 755th home run in 2007, did not pitch in the majors last year. He opened 2013 with the Reds’ Class AAA affiliate in Louisville but was released after posting a 4.00 ERA in 15 games. He then appeared in four games for the Brewers at Class AAA Nashville before again getting released.
Hensley re-established himself pitching for the independent Sugar Land Skeeters, where he allowed only one run and four hits in 14 1/3 innings.