Washington Post writer Chelsea Janes was first with a report this morning that said the Washington Nationals have signed free agent infielder Stephen Drew to a 1-year/$3.5M deal, bringing the 33-year-old infielder back to the nation’s capital.
Drew signed a 1-year/$3M deal with the Nationals last December, and put up a .266/.339/.524 line, 11 doubles and eight home runs off the bench in a 0.7 fWAR season.
Though he missed time with symptoms of vertigo last season, Drew was an important part of the Nationals’ bench.
According to his agent, Scott Boras, Drew was reportedly considering his options this winter as he searched for a full-time job.
“He’s just kind of evaluating the options of carrying out a multiple-position role and probably playing more than he did last year, or pursuing something more along the lines (of what he was for the Nationals this year),” Boras explained when he spoke to reporters at the Winter Meetings, as quoted on MLBTradeRumors.com.
Instead he’ll return to the bench in the nation’s capital, where he’ll likely join Clint Robinson, Jose Lobaton, Chris Heisey, Michael A. Taylor/Brian Goodwin.
Here are the tweeted updates from this morning on the Nationals’ deal with Drew:
Nationals have agreed to a deal with Stephen Drew, pending a physical, according to a person with direct knowledge of the situation.— Chelsea Janes (@chelsea_janes) January 26, 2017
Dusty and Co. praised bench repeatedly last year. Now can have the same group if they want: Drew, Heisey, Loby, Robinson, Taylor/Goodwin.— Chelsea Janes (@chelsea_janes) January 26, 2017
Drew gets $3.5M base plus incentives— Jon Heyman (@JonHeyman) January 26, 2017
Drew gets $1.2M incentives @chelsea_janes 1st with agreement— Jon Heyman (@JonHeyman) January 26, 2017
Drew saw time at second, short and third last season. With Danny Espinosa dealt to the LA Angels this winter, the Nationals had options.
They could have gone with relatively unproven infielder Wilmer Difo as their utility man off the bench, but manager Dusty Baker stressed the importance of having veteran experience on the bench, which Drew provides.
What does this mean for Difo? Are you more comfortable with Drew playing on a regular basis if any of the Nationals’ infielders miss time?
Are you just happy the Nationals signed someone in what’s been a relatively quiet winter for the defending NL East champs?
Can Turner handle SS? Can Murphy's '16 injury stay healthy? Will Zim hit? Versatile Drew (,743 career OPS) is BIG insurance, not just bench.— Thomas Boswell (@ThomasBoswellWP) January 26, 2017