Mike Rizzo got his experienced starter in Doug Fister earlier this week. Now he has his left-handed-hitting reserve outfielder in Nate McLouth.
The Nationals have signed McLouth to a two-year contract, a source confirms, giving the Nats their fourth outfielder, one who can play any outfield spot and has a little bit of pop from the left side of the plate.
FOXSports.com was the first to report the signing, and according to the Baltimore Sun, McLouth will get $10.75 million over the two-year deal.
Update: ESPN.com’s Jerry Crasnick reports the Nationals will also hold a club option on McLouth for 2016, worth $6.5 million.
McLouth, 32, hit .258/.329/.399 with 12 home runs and 36 RBIs in 531 at-bats with the Orioles in 2013. He sports a career .250/.334/.418 slash line, and that .752 career OPS isn’t too bad for a reserve outfielder who plays solid defense at three spots.
McLouth won a Gold Glove with the Pirates in 2008, getting most of his time that year in center field. He also stole 30 bases in 37 chances this season.
Oh, and he has one sweet walk-up song.
The Nationals came into this offseason looking to bolster their bench, add more of a left-handed presence and get a solid defensive outfielder.
They paid nearly $5.5 million per season to get McLouth for two years, but get a guy off the bench who is a bit of a threat from the left side of the plate, gets on base at a decent rate, is defensively versatile in the outfield and has good speed.
McLouth can slide into the lineup should any starting outfielder go down for an extended stretch due to injury, and I also hear he’s a great presence in the clubhouse.
Sounds like a couple more items just got checked off Rizzo’s offseason wish list.