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Mark DeRosa hit 23 homers in 2009 but played only 73 total games the last two years.
The deal has not yet been completed and won't be until DeRosa passes a physical, according to a club source.
DeRosa, who turns 37 in February, hit 23 homers in 2009 with the Indians and Cardinals and then parlayed that success into a two-year, $12 million contract with the Giants. But he played in only 73 combined the last two years with San Francisco, hampered for much of that time by a left wrist injury that briefly threatened to end his career.
There were, however, glimmers of hope for the veteran when he returned from the disabled list in August. In 29 games over the season's final two months, he hit .367 with a .439 on-base percentage (though he produced only one extra-base hit over that time).
The Nationals envision using DeRosa as something of a "super-utility" player, giving him at-bats at first base, second base, third base and both corner outfield positions. A right-handed hitter, he'll also be one of manager Davey Johnson's top pinch-hitting options off the bench. He owns a career .260 average (32-for-143) with two homers, 19 RBI and a .338 on-base percentage as a pinch-hitter.
In 14 total big-league seasons with the Braves, Rangers, Cubs, Indians, Cardinals and Giants, DeRosa is a .272 hitter with 93 homers and a .341 on-base percentage.