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Nationals sign Nate McLouth

Dec 6, 2013, 4:50 PM EDT

Nate McLouth Getty Getty Images

Nate McLouth won’t have to move far, as Ken Rosenthal of reports that the former Orioles outfielder has agreed to a two-year deal with the Nationals.

There’s no starting job for McLouth in Washington, where Bryce Harper, Denard Span, and Jayson Werth all figure to play almost every day, but Rosenthal says he’s “expected to get significant at-bats” in a fourth outfielder role.

How that will happen is unclear, especially since the most likely outfielder to take a seat on the bench is Span when a left-handed pitcher is on the mound and McLouth is also a left-handed hitter. It’s the same role David DeJesus seemed destined to fill when the Nationals claimed him off waivers in August, but then they quickly shipped him to the Rays.

McLouth turned his career around with the Orioles, going from nearly out of baseball to hitting .261 with a .742 OPS and 42 steals in 201 games.

UPDATE: Dan Connolly of the Baltimore Sun says the deal is worth $10.75 million, which is big money for a backup outfielder who doesn’t actually play center field well.

  1. phillysports1 - Dec 6, 2013 at 4:54 PM

    Nats are going trade span

    • David Proctor - Dec 6, 2013 at 4:58 PM

      They’re not going to trade Span for McClouth. He is “expected to get significant ABs” because we’ll inevitably have outfield injuries.

      • NatsLady - Dec 6, 2013 at 6:08 PM

        Also, if McLouth “doesn’t play CF well,” he isn’t going to replace Span, who does. McLouth will allow Williams to rest Werth and perhaps Harper.

  2. emdash01 - Dec 6, 2013 at 5:03 PM

    As a depth move, I love it. The Nats’ outfielders can be injury-prone, and having an actual outfielder on the bench to (instead of playing utility infielders and awkward first basemen) will be a huge positive. I’m surprised it’s not a right-hander, though, as the most likely to miss time with injury is clearly Werth.

    Don’t think this means they’ll trade Span, though I guess it depends on what they can get in return.

    • emdash01 - Dec 6, 2013 at 5:12 PM

      It is a lot of money for a 4th OF, but the story of their season largely was that they didn’t have even moderate quality depth on the bench to cover when their starters were injured. I don’t think a single bench player had an OPS of even .600 in the first three-four months of the season when they got the most time. They’re overpaying a bit to try to lessen the chances of that happening again.

    • NatsLady - Dec 6, 2013 at 5:18 PM

      Exactly. Just saved approx $7MM with Fister (vs Haren FA type), now spend it on the bench–which was like the 2nd worst in MLB last year. McLouth vs. Bernadina–that’s a yes.

      I remember thinking a couple of years ago that the Yankees had bench players that were good enough to be regulars on other teams, because they had the money for it.

  3. phillysports1 - Dec 6, 2013 at 5:08 PM

    Ok doc ^

  4. phillysports1 - Dec 6, 2013 at 5:29 PM

    So you guys think he’s a good bench player ? I mean I know you guys going say yeah . I’ll say the same if phillies signed him as a bench player .

    • kinggw - Dec 6, 2013 at 5:37 PM

      I’d rather have Bonifacio, but McClouth will have to do.

  5. proudlycanadian - Dec 6, 2013 at 5:32 PM

    So far, Baltimore does not seem to be having a very good off season. I wonder what moves Baltimore has planned to improve the team.

    • syphermce - Dec 6, 2013 at 6:58 PM

      Sign a bunch of castoffs and hasbeens to minor league contracts with spring training invites and hope for the best out of them.

      • eddiek77 - Dec 6, 2013 at 7:47 PM

        Hey…no fair bringing the Pirates into the discussion.

  6. dcfan999 - Dec 6, 2013 at 6:00 PM

    Philly sports I’d worry more about what the phillies are doing then the nats oh wait Philly ain’t doing nothing and the mets and marlins may end up better then Philly

  7. phillysports1 - Dec 6, 2013 at 6:39 PM

    Oh wait , you guys missed the playoffs this past year ? Oh wait , every one predicted Nats to a World Series lol oh wait , they didn’t even reach the postseason .. Smh

  8. phillysports1 - Dec 6, 2013 at 6:40 PM

    With the talent you guys have I don’t see why not clinching a division or reaching the World Series is a problem . Good team for nothing lol

  9. riverace19 - Dec 6, 2013 at 6:53 PM

    Kudos to McLouth who resurrected his career after being left for dead. Backup OF for the Nats at $5 mil beats selling insurance (not like there is anything wrong with that)

  10. dcfan999 - Dec 6, 2013 at 6:54 PM

    Yeah philly sports to bad the phillies may end up in dead last how’s that farm system looking bunch of over the hill players on Philly

  11. syphermce - Dec 6, 2013 at 6:56 PM

    Well, I guess this means Nolan Reimold will be starting in left field for the Orioles next season…assuming he can stay healthy.

  12. phillysports1 - Dec 6, 2013 at 7:06 PM

    You don’t even believe it in your self that the phillies will end up last . I know we may not contend this year but you guys have a pretty good team with high expectations.

  13. dcfan999 - Dec 6, 2013 at 7:21 PM

    We do have a reason 2 years ago we made the playoffs and were one out away from beating the cards this team has a ton of talent and a new manager will help has for Philly ok maybe not last but Philly is in rebuild mode

    • Francisco (FC) - Dec 6, 2013 at 9:28 PM

      I wish they were in rebuild mode. Since when does signing 35+ year old players constitutes a “rebuild”?

  14. phillysports1 - Dec 6, 2013 at 7:55 PM

    Dude I dislike mets braves more than nats . I don’t have a problem with the nationals but I’m speaking the truth . Good team for nothing ..

  15. sonsoflombardi - Dec 6, 2013 at 11:14 PM

    Go home, phillysports1. You’re drunk.

  16. Minoring In Baseball - Dec 7, 2013 at 2:54 AM

    I would have liked to see him come to Detroit to play LF. He’d be an upgrade over Dirks, anyway.

  17. jpalughi823 - Dec 8, 2013 at 10:41 PM

    as an O’s fan i’d like to wish Nate nothing but the best. did a fantastic job in 2012 & was the only real offensive weapon we had in the playoffs & was a super nice dude when i met him…..also wish our owner would drop dead & marc cuban would buy us

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