The Philadelphia Phillies have signed outfielder Roger Bernadina to a major league contract, according to a team announcement. The 29-year old was released by the Nationals on Monday following the acquisition of David Dejesus, but had to wait until Wednesday to officially clear unconditional release waivers and become a free agent.
Bernadina will immediately join the Phillies, who have been looking for outfield help since Ben Revere was lost for the season due to injury. While John Mayberry Jr. and Darin Ruf have been manning center and left field for the Phils recently, Bernadina provides a backup option to both of them as well as All-Star left fielder Domonic Brown.
Bernadina hit only .178 with 2 HR and 6 RBI in 85 games with the Nats on the year, but has shown promise as a left-handed bench option in the past. In 2010, he hit .246 with 11 HR and 47 RBI in 134 games. Bernadina's versatility allows him to play all three outfield positions, and he has shown some speed throughout his career (56 stolen bases in 468 games).
Philadelphia's interest in Bernadina was first noted by Jim Salisbury of CSNPhilly.com on Monday, and the team's aggressiveness in signing "The Shark" likely signifies that he is a player who they have had their eye on for a while. If Bernadina plays well for the rest of the season, the Phillies could sign him to a new deal in the offseason that would keep him under team control through the 2015 season as an arbitration-eligible player.