The Washington Nationals agreed to terms on a one-year contract with infielder Asdrúbal Cabrera and a one-year contract with a mutual option for 2021 with first baseman Eric Thames on Wednesday. Nationals President of Baseball Operations and General Manager Mike Rizzo made the announcements.
Cabrera, 34, returns to Washington where he hit .323 with 10 doubles, one triple, six home runs, 40 RBI, 19 walks and 24 runs scored in 38 games with the Nationals, after signing with the club on Aug. 6 of last season.
In 131 games between the Texas Rangers and the Nationals, Cabrera recorded 91 RBI, just one short of his career-best of 92 RBI in 2011. His 40 RBI from Aug. 6 through the end of the season were tied for third in the National League and tied for seventh in all of Major League Baseball. He also ranked in the National League in on-base percentage (7th, .404) and batting average (8th, .323), from Aug. 6 through the end of the season.
A switch-hitter, Cabrera posted a .452 slugging percentage from the left side of the plate in 2019. Of his 44 extra-base hits, 33 (17 2B, 3B, 15 HR) came as a left-handed batter.
Cabrera appeared exclusively at third base during his time with Texas, appearing in 93 games (90 starts). In 38 games with Washington, he spent time at second base (31 G), third base (5 G) and first base (3 G).
A veteran of 13 seasons, Cabrera has hit .268 with 371 doubles, 25 triples, 180 home runs, 796 RBI, and 829 runs scored in 1,660 career games. He’s amassed 1,646 career hits, while posting a .331 on-base percentage and a .425 slugging percentage.
Thames, 33, joins Washington after hitting .247 with 23 doubles, two triples, 25 home runs, 61 RBI, 51 walks and 67 runs scored in 149 games for the Milwaukee Brewers in 2019. He recorded a .505 slugging percentage and an .851 OPS in his third season with the Brewers.
The left-handed Thames posted a .529 slugging percentage and 23 home runs in 397 plate appearances against right-handed pitching in 2019.
Since the start of the 2017 season - when he returned from a three-year stint in the Korean Baseball Organization - Thames ranks eighth among all left-handed hitters with a .504 slugging percentage and 11th among lefties with an .848 OPS. He’s hit .241 with a .343 on-base percentage, 59 doubles, nine triples, 72 homers, 161 RBI, 155 walks, 14 stolen bases and 191 runs scored in 383 games over this stretch.
From 2014-16, Thames played three seasons with the NC Dinos in the Korean Baseball Organization. He hit .349 with 102 doubles, 14 triples, 124 homers, 382 RBI, 235 walks, 64 stolen bases and 343 runs scored in 390 across those three seasons. In 2016, he led the league with 40 home runs while hitting .317 with 118 RBI in 121 games. This followed the 2015 season in which he was named the league’s Most Valuable Player after recording the first 40-home run, 40-stolen base season in league history. He also led the league in runs scored (130) and doubles (42).
Prior to his three seasons in Korea, Thames appeared in 181 games across two Major League seasons with the Toronto Blue Jays (2011-12) and Seattle Mariners (2012). He hit .250 with 36 doubles, eight triples, 21 homers, 62 RBI, 38 walks and 85 runs scored in those 181 games.
A native of Santa Clara, California, Thames was selected in the seventh round of the 2008 First-Year Player Draft out of Pepperdine (CA) University.
Washington now has 37 players on its 40-man roster.