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12/13/2005 10:55 AM ET
Nationals sign Robert Fick and Joey Eischen to '06 contracts
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The Washington Nationals today signed first baseman/outfielder/catcher Robert Fick and left-handed pitcher Joey Eischen to one-year contracts. Nationals Vice President and General Manager Jim Bowden made the announcement.

A .260 (533-for-2048) career hitter with 65 home runs and 299 RBI, Fick once hit 36 home runs during a two-year stretch (2001-02) with the Tigers, including a career-high 19-homer campaign in '01. He represented Detroit in the 2002 All-Star Game in Milwaukee.

Fick, 31, batted .265 with 10 doubles, three homers and 30 RBI in 93 contests in 2005 for San Diego. With extensive experience not only at first base, but in the outfield (182 games) and behind the plate (132 games), Fick joins infielders Damian Jackson and Marlon Anderson in forming a bench that addresses defensive versatility (combined, the trio have played every position except pitcher) and pinch-hitting experience (combined 74-for-277 [.267] with nine homers and 51 RBI).

Eischen, 35, will return for a fifth consecutive season with the Nationals/Expos organization. Eischen went 2-1 with eight holds and a 3.22 ERA (13 ER/36.1 IP) in 57 games out of the bullpen last season, when he ranked fifth in the NL in percentage of inherited runners stranded (40 of 48, 83.3%). Eischen, who was touched for only one homer in 36.1 innings in 2005, is 11-8 with 41 holds, three saves and a 4.42 ERA in 302 big league games spanning nine seasons.

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