Nationals sign J.C. Romero

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Lefty J.C. R0mero has caught on with the defending NL East champs. (Getty Images)

CBSSports.com's Danny Knobler reports that the Nationals have agreed to a contract with veteran lefty reliever J.C. Romero. The contract is a minor-league deal, and as Knobler notes, Romero will open the season down on the farm.

Romero, 36, spent the majority of the 2012 season at the Triple-A level. For his career, he owns an ERA+ of 110 to go with a 1.51 WHIP and 1.40 K/BB ratio. Against Romero, left-handers have managed a lifetime batting line of just .220/.314/.298.

The Nats are set to open the season with only one left-handed reliever -- Zach Duke -- on the active roster, so Romero, assuming he rounds into form, will provide the NL East champs with depth at some point.

"The way I look at it, he gives us insurance," said manager Davey Johnson. "We lost three pretty good lefthanders from last year."

Over the winter, the Nats indeed shedded lefty relievers Mike Gonzalez, Tom Gorzelanny and Sean Burnett.

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