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Nationals sign Schierholtz to minor league deal

WASHINGTON (AP) The Washington Nationals agreed to a minor league deal with Nate Schierholtz on Monday and assigned the veteran outfielder to Triple-A Syracuse.

General manager Mike Rizzo said the Nationals have been interested in Schierholtz for years.

''With Nate McLouth on the shelf for longer than we expected, we thought it was a good pickup,'' Rizzo said.

McLouth has been out since Aug. 2 with right shoulder inflammation. The lefty-hitting outfielder was scheduled to undergo an Arthrogram - an MRI procedure that involves dye being injected into the joint - on Monday to help determine the extent of his injury.

Schierholtz, also a left-handed batter, hit .192 with six homers in 99 games with Chicago before he was designated for assignment Aug. 6.

''(We'll) see where he's at when he gets (to Syracuse) tomorrow, you know physically,'' Rizzo said. ''We're going to gauge how he feels and how he looks, and we'll give him as many at-bats as he needs down there before we bring him up.''

Schierholtz is a .254 career hitter with 51 home runs and 224 RBIs in 776 games. Last season with the Cubs, he hit .251 and established career highs in home runs (21), RBIs (68) and runs scored (56).

''(He's) had experience as a pinch hitter,'' Rizzo said. ''He can play all three outfield positions above average. He throws well. He can still run well. He's got some pop from the left side. We were a little short on left-handed power bats off the bench.''

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