The Washington Nationals have signed free agent starting pitcher turned first baseman Micah Owings to a minor league contract that includes an invitation to major-league spring training, the team has announced.
Owings is coming off season-ending elbow surgery, which limited him to six appearances with the San Diego Padres last year. He signed with the Padres last offseason after being released by the Arizona Diamondbacks.
2011 marked Owings' second stint with Arizona. They selected him in the third round of the 2005 MLB Draft and made his debut with the Diamondbacks in 2007. Arizona dealt him to the Cincinnati Reds in 2008 to complete the Adam Dunn trade.
Owings has spent parts of six seasons in the majors, appearing in 138 games, including 68 starts. During his time in the bigs, Owings owns a career ERA of 4.86 with a 1.67 strikeout-to-walk ratio.
Owings has always been a solid hitter, as the 30-year-old holds a career batting line of .283/.310/.502 with 14 doubles and nine home runs over 219 plate appearances. The Nationals are hoping this track record translates into success as a position player.