With winter meetings quickly approaching, the Washington Nationals secured a deal that will bring veteran outfielder Nate McLouth to Washington. This offseason, management made it a top priority to build a deeper bench, which frequently let down the team in key situations. McLouth signed a two-year, 10.75 million dollar deal, and will be a valuable left-handed batter. Many fans may wonder why Washington needed to bring another outfielder into the mix; however, they fail to recognize that McLouth was among the League’s best with 2.5 wins above replacement.
Although the Nationals may have over paid for McLouth, this statistic shows just how capable McLouth is as a fill-in, and that he could be a third outfielder for most Major League teams. A season ago, McLouth hit .258, with 12 home runs, and stole 30 bases along with a good glove in the outfield. The combination of McLouth and Scott Hairston should bridge the gap between an often-injured outfield and the bench. Jayson Werth, Bryce Harper, and Denard Span missed a combined 86 games in 2013, and a solid bench will secure many more victories for a Washington team hoping to capture the National League East crown.