Pinch-hitter Matt Stairs has agreed to a non-guaranteed, minor league contract with the Washington Nationals.

Washington announced the deal yesterday and said Stairs will be invited to the team's major league spring training camp. He turns 43 in February.

Stairs holds the career record with 23 pinch-hit homers, 15 more than any other active player. He has played for 12 big-league teams and homered for 11, both tied for the career record.

He played a key role for the Phillies' 2008 World Series champions.

In 18 major league seasons, Stairs has a .264 batting average, 265 homers and 897 RBI.

With the San Diego Padres last season, Stairs hit .232 with six homers and 16 RBI in 99 at-bats. His four pinch-hit homers tied for the lead in the majors.

In other baseball news:

* The Oakland Athletics and free-agent designated hitter Hideki Matsui finalized a 1-year contract. The 36-year-old Matsui batted .274 with 21 home runs and 84 RBI last season with the Los Angeles Angels.

* The Los Angeles Dodgers signed free-agent catcher Dioner Navarro to a 1-year contract, bringing him back for a second stint in Los Angeles. Navarro played for the Dodgers for parts of two seasons before being traded to Tampa Bay in June 2006.


* A leading international gay rights group demanded an official apology from FIFA following Sepp Blatter's comment about homosexual fans traveling to Qatar for the 2022 World Cup. The president of the world soccer governing body said Monday that gay fans "should refrain from any sexual activities" during the World Cup in Qatar, where homosexual behavior is illegal. Juris Lavrikovs, communications director for the European branch of the International Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Trans and Intersex Association, said the comments were "very unfortunate and have left people deeply offended."