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Washington Nationals news & notes: Nats reportedly sign Joey Gallo to 1-year deal...

Notes and quotes on the Nats reportedly getting the left-handed power bat they were after this winter...

Mike Rizzo and Co. in the Nationals’ front office signed Dominic Smith to a 1-year/$2M deal last winter, hoping the veteran, left-handed hitting infielder/outfielder would bounce back after six up-and-down seasons with New York’s Mets, who drafted Smith in the first round (No. 11 overall) in 2013.

“We were looking at Dom as a bounce-back player,” Rizzo explained this winter, after Smith was DFA’d by the club and became a free agent again.

“We knew defensively he was going to help our young infielders. That was a big key for it.

“He was a left-handed hitter. We thought he’d have a bounce-back year with his power — and also, our reports on him he was a great citizen, a great guy, and that was all true.”

Smith provided the defense they hoped he would at first base, but struggled once again at the plate (with a .254/.326/.366 line, 21 doubles, 12 home runs, 47 walks, 91 Ks in 153 games and 586 plate appearances, over which he was worth 0.1 fWAR), coming on late in terms of power, with six of his twelve home runs on the year in the final month, but it wasn’t enough for the Nationals to consider bringing him back.

So once again this winter, the club was in the market for a left-handed hitting 1B/OF who’d provide some pop.

“I think we’re going to be aggressive again this year looking for a bat that can play the corner infield,” Rizzo explained when he spoke with reporters at the Winter Meetings.

“Be it third base or first base or DH or left field — a combination of all three of those.”

A reporter noted the presence of all of the right-handed outfield bats on the roster when the Nats’ skipper Davey Martinez spoke at the WM in early December.

“You must have read my mind,” Martinez joked. “We need a left-handed bat.”

“I would like to get a left-handed hitting outfielder. I’ll take anyone, but to have an outfielder would be great.”

Earlier this winter, the club signed Nick Senzel to play third base, according to what he said the team told him, and last night they reportedly added the left-handed hitting outfield bat.

Washington Post beat writer Andrew Golden was the first to report the Nats signed 30-year-old, left-handed slugger Joey Gallo to what is reportedly a 1-year/$5M free agent deal:

Gallo signed a 1-year/$11M free agent deal with Minnesota last winter, and finished the year with a .177/.301/.440 line, nine doubles, 21 homers, 48 walks, and 142 Ks in 111 games and a total of 332 PAs, over which he was worth 0.7 fWAR.

Both his 42.8% K% and 14.5% BB% for the year were up from his percentages in 2022, when he put up a combined .160/.280/.357 line, eight doubles, 19 homers, 56 walks (13.7% BB%), 163 Ks (39.8 K%) in 126 games and 410 PAs for the New York Yankees and LA Dodgers, over which he was worth 0.6 fWAR.

Gallo is just two years removed from a 13-double, 38-home run, 4.1 fWAR campaign with the Yanks and Texas Rangers, which he finished with a .199/.351/.458 line, 111 walks (18.0% BB%), and 213 Ks (34.6% K%) in 153 games and 616 PAs.

Will the Nationals get a bounce-back season from Gallo, the power they need from the nine-year veteran ... and a potential trade chip at the deadline?

Where do you expect he’ll get the most time: LF? 1B? DH? Overall thoughts on the signing?