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Nats agree to deals with Clayton, Lombard

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.