The Washington Nationals agreed to terms on a one-year contract with first baseman/outfielder Matt Adams on Friday. Nationals President of Baseball Operations and General Manager Mike Rizzo made the announcement.
Adams, 29, joins the Nationals after hitting .274 with 22 doubles, one triple, 20 home runs, 65 RBI, 23 walks and 46 runs scored in 131 games for the St. Louis Cardinals and Atlanta Braves in 2017. His 20 home runs marked a new career high, besting his previous high of 17 with St. Louis in 2013. He also set career marks in slugging percentage (.522) and OPS (.841). His 65 RBI were his most since he recorded 68 in 2014.
Acquired by the Atlanta Braves on May 20, Adams clubbed 19 home runs for Atlanta, tying the single-season Atlanta franchise record for a mid-season trade acquisition (Fred McGriff, 19 in 1993). During his stint with the Braves, 40 of his 79 hits went for extra bases (20 2B, 3B, 19 HR) and his .543 slugging percentage during this stretch ranked 11th in the National League among hitters - and fifth among left-handed batters - with at least 290 at bats.
Adams has proven to be a valuable contributor off the bench in his career. His nine career pinch-hit home runs and 41 pinch-hit RBI are the most in Major League Baseball since he broke into the Major Leagues in 2012. The nine pinch-hit homers are tied for the most all-time among active players. In 2017, he went 13-for-46 (.283) with two doubles, two home runs, and 13 RBI as a pinch-hitter. His 13 pinch-hit RBI ranked tied for second in Major League Baseball.
Primarily a first baseman throughout his career (425 games/387 starts), Adams displayed his versatility by appearing in 19 games (18 starts) in left field for both St. Louis and Atlanta in 2017. Having never played the outfield in his Major League career prior to 2017, Adams committed just two errors and recorded a .926 fielding percentage.
Adams is a career .271 hitter with a .469 slugging percentage that ranks eighth among National League left-handed batters since his debut in 2012. He has clubbed 103 doubles, six triples, 75 homers and 275 RBI across six Major League seasons. He was originally selected by St. Louis in the 23rd round of the 2009 First-Year Player Draft out of Slippery Rock (PA) University.
With the signing of Adams, the Nationals now have 39 players on their 40-man roster.