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Nationals sign six players to minor league contracts
12/15/2009 4:48 PM ET

The Washington Nationals today signed right-handed pitchers Joel Peralta, Logan Kensing and Ryan Speier, catcher Jamie Burke, infielder Pete Orr and outfielder Jerry Owens to minor league contracts. Nationals Senior Vice President and General Manager Mike Rizzo made the announcement.

Peralta has pitched parts of five seasons in the big leagues, earning two saves, 31 holds and a 4.61 ERA in 221 relief appearances. The 33-year-old has posted a 2.8/1 strikeout-to-walk ratio and has stranded 70 percent (123 of 176) of inherited runners during his career with the Angels (2005), Royals (2006-08) and Rockies (2009).

Kensing made 26 appearances with the Nationals in '09 after he was acquired from the Marlins on April 28 of last season. The hard-throwing 27-year-old is 8-9 record with two saves, 21 holds and a 5.81 ERA over six big league seasons.

Speier posted a 7-3 record with seven holds and a 3.99 ERA in 90 relief appearances during four years with the Rockies (2005, '07-09). The 30-year-old recorded a career-best 3.65 ERA in 22 appearances in 2005 and has yielded just four home runs in 99.1 big league innings.

A 17-year pro, Burke returns for his second stint with the Nationals. A career .277 hitter in parts of seven big league campaigns, the 38-year-old first joined the organization via a trade with Seattle on September 17 last season.

Orr, 30, returns for his third season with Washington. He has tallied a .260 batting average with three homers, 35 RBI and 13 stolen bases in 347 games during his five-year career with the Braves (2005-07) and Nationals (2008-09).

Owens returns to the Nationals/Expos organization that originally selected him in the second round of the 2003 First-Year Player Draft, after spending the last five seasons in the White Sox (2005-09) and Mariners (2009) systems. Owens, 28, has played parts of four seasons in the majors, batting .262 with a home run, 18 RBI and 36 stolen bases in 129 contests

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