The Washington Nationals agreed to terms on a one-year contract with infielder Stephen Drew on Wednesday and designated right-handed pitcher Taylor Hill for assignment. Nationals President of Baseball Operations and General Manager Mike Rizzo made the announcement.
Drew, a veteran of 10 Major League seasons, will join the Nationals on the heels of a 2015 season in which he hit 17 home runs for the New York Yankees. The power output was Drew’s largest since the left-handed-hitter clubbed 21 home runs in 2008 as a member of the Arizona Diamondbacks. His 17 home runs were tied for third among Major League second basemen in 2015.
The 32-year-old Drew hit .201 with 16 doubles and one triple, tallied 44 RBI and scored 43 runs in 131 games for the Yankees. He appeared in 123 games (94 starts) at second base, 15 games (10 starts) at shortstop and four games (one start) at third base.
No stranger to the postseason, Drew has appeared in 28 playoff games, including starting at shortstop in each of Boston’s 16 postseason games in 2013, helping the Red Sox secure the World Series title. Drew also appeared in the postseason with the Oakland Athletics in 2012 and the Arizona Diamondbacks in 2007.
A former first-round pick (No. 15 overall) by the Diamondbacks in the 2004 First-Year Player Draft, Drew has appeared in 1,152 games in his 10 Major League seasons, hitting .251 with 240 doubles, 62 triples, 114 home runs, 486 RBI, 41 stolen bases and 532 runs scored. He made his Major League debut in 2006, at the age of 23, with the Diamondbacks before stints with Oakland (2012), Boston (2013-14) and New York (2014-15).
A native of Valdosta, Ga., Drew, who attended Florida State University, is the youngest brother of former first-round selections and Major Leaguers, J.D. and Tim Drew.
Hill, 26, appeared in nine Major League games over the past two seasons for the Nationals, going 0-1 with a 6.00 ERA. Hill’s lone big league start came Sept. 26, 2014 vs. Miami. In 111 minor league games (101 starts) spanning five minor league seasons, Hill went 34-35 with a 3.84 ERA. He was a sixth round pick in the 2014 First-Year Player Draft out of Vanderbilt University.
With the addition of Drew, the Nationals currently have 40 players on their 40-man roster.