Michaels is likely looking for an opportunity to transition from playing professionally to coaching, and his contract with the Nationals should allow him to begin that switch. Presumably he will help coach his teammates while he continues playing until he takes on a more permanent coaching role.
Michaels spent the 2012 season with the Nationals' Triple-A affiliate. Totaling 113 plate appearances in 35 games, the 36-year-old hit .202/.265/.288 with three doubles and two home runs.
Michael last appeared in the majors in 2011 as a member of the Houston Astros. That season he hit .199/.256/.295 with nine doubles and two home runs over 169 plate appearances.
Prior to his disappointing 2011 campaign, Michaels had been a relatively productive reserve player for the Astros. He hit .246/.315/.452 as a backup outfielder and pinch hitter from 2009-10.
Michaels only totaled north of 500 plate appearances in a season once over his 11 years in the majors. He was drafted by the Philadelphia Phillies and did well after debuting with them in 2001, hitting .292/.382/.444 from 2002-05.