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05/24/08 7:56 PM ET

Nationals sign infielder Reese

Veteran to help with Minor League development in Columbus

WASHINGTON -- The Nationals signed infielder Pokey Reese to a Minor League contract on Saturday. He will report to Triple-A Columbus.

Reese, 34, is a veteran who played in the Major Leagues for eight seasons. The last time he played in the big leagues was in 2004, when he was a member of the Red Sox. He is best remembered for being the everyday second baseman for the Reds, when current Nationals general manager Jim Bowden held the same title in Cincinnati.

The Nationals signed Reese because Columbus is short on infielders since Pete Orr went on the disabled list and Bret Boone retired.

"He was signed to help [our] Triple-A depth," Bowden said. "All our Major League injuries have hurt our depth at Triple-A. We do not want to rush prospects from Double-A and hurt their development, so he is there to fill out the roster. Also, [his] defense up the middle in Triple-A is important to develop young pitchers like Collin Balester."

Bill Ladson is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.