Nationals Reportedly Sign Nate McLouth: What "They're" Saying...

Joy R. Absalon-USA TODAY Sports

The Washington Nationals made another offseason addition on Friday night, agreeing to what is reportedly a 2-year/$10.75M deal with 32-year-old outfielder Nate McLouth. McLouth played for the Baltimore Orioles in 2013 and now moves to the nation's capital...

Nationals' Winter Checklist: 4th/5th starter? √ Bench bat? √ Left-handed relief help? Decision Pending. Backup catcher? Decision Pending. Middle infielder? Unclear.

"'We need to straighten out our bench,' Rizzo said, 'and have some guys that can contribute not only in pinch-hitting roles and short stints.'" - Nats' GM Mike Rizzo to MLB.com's Bill Ladson

When Washington Nationals' General Manager Mike Rizzo spoke to nationals.com writer Bill Ladson last month, in a conversation about the team's attempts to improve their bench after a disappointing season for the Nats' reserves in 2013, the GM stressed that they were looking for players who could step in and play without the significant drop-off the team experienced with their starters out of the lineup last year.

"We need to straighten out our bench," Rizzo said, "and have some guys that can contribute not only in pinch-hitting roles and short stints, [but as everyday players if a key guy is injured for a long period of time]."

Nate McLouth, 32, was an everyday player for the Orioles in 2013, but he officially left Baltimore last night, agreeing on what is reportedly a 2-year/$10.75M deal with the Nationals that, again, reportedly includes an option for 2015. Still no official word on the deal from the Nats.

In his second season with the O's after joining them as a free agent in June of 2012 and re-signing on a 1-year/$2M deal last winter, McLouth, a nine-year major league veteran, put up a .258/.329/.399 line with 31 doubles, 12 HRs and 30 stole bases in 146 games and 593 plate appearances, over which he was worth +2.5 fWAR. Roger Bernadina, Tyler Moore and Steve Lombardozzi, who got the bulk of time in the Nationals' outfield after the starters last season, were worth a combined -2.1 fWAR to the Nats.

There are still items remaining on the Nationals' offseason wishlist, but they checked another need off on Friday.

Here's what the baseball world had to say about the Nats' latest addition... Links and lots of them, starting... RIGHT NOW!!!

• NATS BEAT:

• "According to the Baltimore Sun, McLouth’s deal is worth $10.75 million for two years. There is a club option for 2016 worth $6.5 million, according to an ESPN report." - "Nationals agree to terms with outfielder Nate McLouth" - James Wagner, Washington Post

• "Mike Rizzo got his experienced starter in Doug Fister earlier this week. Now he has his left-handed-hitting reserve outfielder in Nate McLouth." - "Nationals Pastime: Nationals sign Nate McLouth to two-year deal (updated)" - Dan Kolko, MASNSports.com

• "McLouth is a gifted outfielder who can play all three positions, affording Span, Bryce Harper and Jayson Werth the opportunity to take more games off." - "Washington Nationals sign outfielder Nate McLouth to 2-year contract" - Mark Zuckerman, Nats Insider

• "The Nationals have spent the offseason looking to improve their bench. They took a step forward Friday, agreeing to a two-year deal with outfielder Nate McLouth." - "Nationals agree to deal with Nate McLouth, adding depth" - Bill Ladson, nationals.com: News

• "It’s the start of a bench overhaul for the Nats, who saw reserves like Roger Bernadina (.517 OPS), Chad Tracy (.568 OPS) and Tyler Moore (.607 OPS) plummet to earth last year after solid seasons in 2012." - "Nationals reportedly sign reserve OF Nate McLouth" Brian McNally, Washington Times

• "And, actually, hold on a second. Is the contract really an overpay? McLouth was worth 2.5 wins above replacement last year for the Orioles, per FanGraphs." - "Why Nate McLouth makes sense for the Nationals" - Adam Kilgore, Washington Post

• NATIONAL(S) BEAT:

•"In short, McLouth fits the description of a fourth outfielder to a T and seems like an especially good fit for a Washington team that hopes to rebound from a very disappointing 2013." - "Nationals add Nate McLouth on two-year deal to provide insurance in outfield" - Mark Townsend, Big League Stew - Yahoo Sports

• "In addition to providing solid production against right-handed pitching and speed on the bases, McLouth is also capable of manning all three outfield positions." - "Nationals, Nate McLouth agree to 2-year deal" - Dayn Perry, CBSSports.com

• "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." - "Nationals sign Nate McLouth" - Aaron Gleeman, HardballTalk

• "The Nationals had a productive outfield trio last season, but the offense went south whenever one of the starters was out." - "Transaction Analysis: Nationals, Nate McLouth Hide Each Other's Flaws" - Beb Lindbergh and Ben Carsley, Baseball Prospectus

• "The writing seemed to be on the wall for the O's not retaining McLouth with their deciding to tender both Nolan Reimold and Steve Pearce, as well as the pending fringe 40-man signing of former Giants outfielder Francisco Peguero." - "Nationals sign Nate McLouth to two-year deal; Orioles miss out again" - Mark Brown, Camden Chat

• "Outfielder Nate McLouth reached agreement on a two-year, guaranteed $10.75 million contract with the Washington Nationals, a baseball source told ESPN.com." - "Nate McLouth, Washington Nationals agree on two years, $10.75M" - Jerry Crasnick, ESPN

• "McLouth starred at Whitehall High School before he was drafted in the 25th round of the 2000 MLB Draft." - "Whitehall's Nate McLouth agrees to two-year deal with Washington Nationals" - Brandon Champion, MLive.com

• "The Orioles wanted to re-sign both players, but with the free-agency money flying, the club will now be forced to go elsewhere to fill their needs." - "Orioles lose out on Nate McLouth to Nationals" - Eduardo A. Encina and Dan Connolly, baltimoresun.com

• "The Nationals were looking to add a left-handed bat and some depth for the outfield this winter." - "Nationals sign OF Nate McLouth" - Matt Sullivan, SBNation/Philly.com

• "Given that Bryce Harper, Denard Span and Jayson Werth have the Nats outfield on lockdown for the foreseeable future, McLouth will likely take on a fourth outfielder role for Washington the next two years." - "Nationals ink OF Nate McLouth to 2-year, $10.75 million contract" - Nathan Aderhold, MLB Daily Dish

• "Le voltigeur Nate McLouth et les Nationals de Washington auraient conclu une entente, a révélé une personne au fait des négociations à l'Associated Press." - "McLouth avec les Nationals?" - RDS.ca

• RANDOM NATS LINKS:

• "The Nationals have said they are looking for a more centralized location to reduce the travel time when they play away games." - "Brewers Eye Dunedin As Blue Jays Consider Palm Beach" - Space Coast Daily.com


• "Now, the award-winning architects of HKS Inc., have been hired to build the stadium in Fredericksburg that will be home to the minor league baseball team currently known as the Hagerstown Suns." - "Stadium owners hire internationally known architectural firm" - Pamela Gould, Fredericksburg,com

•"Then, at age 34, he went out and had something of a career year, topping the .400 wOBA mark for the first time." - "Jayson Werth, Impossible To Predict" - Mike Petriello, FanGraphs Fantasy Baseball

• NL EAST UPDATES:

Braves: "'I got to play for Bobby Cox,' McCann said. 'I got to be teammates with Chipper Jones, Tim Hudson, Tom Glavine and John Smoltz. I don't know if it gets much better than that, being from Atlanta.'" - "Yankees' Brian McCann has 'positive memories' of time with Braves" - Mark Bowman, braves.com: News

Marlins: "When Marlins fans first heard abut this deal, their first thought was probably that Logan Morrison is on his way out..." - "Garrett Jones signing: Miami replaces one flawed first baseman with another" - Michael Jong, Fish Stripes

Mets: "It’s a positive step. And, look: Granderson is better than Jason Bay, so you start there. But you are a Mets fan, and so you are cautious by nature." - "Mets’ deal for Granderson must be first of several steps" - Mike Vaccarro, New York Post

Phillies: "As a team still quite far away from being legitimately considered a contender, though, the Phillies have little use for Papelbon and even they have identified some depressing trends with the right-hander." - "Phillies Interested in Trading Jonathan Papelbon" - Bill Baer, Crashburn Alley

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