Nats agree to deals with Clayton, Lombard

Updated: February 2, 2006, 5:22 PM ET
Associated Press

WASHINGTON -- Shortstop Royce Clayton and outfielder George Lombard agreed Thursday to minor-league contracts with the Washington Nationals.

Washington also sent right-hander Francis Beltran outright to Triple-A New Orleans. He had reconstructive elbow surgery in March and didn't pitch last season.

The 36-year-old Clayton hit .270 with two homers, 44 RBI and 13 steals for Arizona last season. He made 11 errors in 141 games at shortstop.

He is a career .258 hitter over 15 years in the majors with seven teams. If added to the major league roster, he would get a $1 million, one-year contract and have the chance to earn $250,000 in performance bonuses based on games.

Both Clayton and Lombard -- who hit .262 with 20 homers and 65 RBIs at Triple-A Pawtucket last season -- were invited to major league spring training.

Copyright 2006 by The Associated Press