Williams says lefty Hill will compete for bullpen spot

Williams says lefty Hill will compete for bullpen spot

VIERA, Fla. -- Nationals manager Matt Williams said the team signed left-hander Rich Hill because of the experience Hill's 10 years in the Majors could potentially add.

"Veteran, been there, got big league experience," Williams said. "We'll get him in camp, get a good look at him, and let him compete."

The Nationals announced they signed Hill to a Minor League contract Friday night, and invited him to join the team in Spring Training. Hill is expected to report in the next two days.

Williams said Hill has been working out and throwing bullpens through the offseason, which should reduce any time needed to spend catching him up to the pitchers who have been in Nationals camp for more than a week.

"He's ready to go compete," Williams said. "He's here to vie for a spot."

The Nationals could use another bullpen arm, particularly a left-handed one to increase matchup options late in games this season. Williams said this week that he did not have a preference on the number of left-handers he would need in his bullpen.

Hill began his career as a starter with the Cubs and Orioles, but has been a full-time reliever since 2010. He began the 2014 season with the Angels, but was released after two relief appearances without retiring a batter. He signed with the Yankees in July and posted a 1.69 ERA in 14 appearances. His career ERA is 4.72.

Jamal Collier is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter at @jamalcollier. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.