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.
Sep 3, 2013; Cleveland, OH, USA; Baltimore Orioles left fielder Nate McLouth (right) watches his three-run home run in the ninth inning against the Cleveland Indians at Progressive Field. Mandatory Credit: David Richard-USA TODAY Sports
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.