Washington Nationals: Ehire Adrianza Signed To Bolster Depth
By Max Rayman
The Washington Nationals infield just gained some much-needed depth with the acquisition of Ehire Adrianza.
After a quiet start to free agency Washington has finally made their move, signing veteran Ehire Adrianza to a one-year deal worth $1.5 million, pending a physical. The 32-year-old utility infielder played the first four years of his career with San Francisco, before spending four years with Minnesota, and this past season with Atlanta.
Last year with the Braves he hit .247, with 28 RBIs, and an OPS of .728. Adrianza was kept on the Braves playoff roster, going 1-10 with a double. He was mostly used for his defensive versatility.
It might not be the sexiest acquisition, but Adrianza can play all over the diamond– having spent time last year at second, short, third, and all three outfield positions. He is unlikely to start, but is a solid backup plan if Carter Kieboom or Luis García get hurt or need a breather.
Adrianza follows Alcides Escobar and César Hernández in veteran infielders to sign MLB deals Washington this off-season. In addition, they also signed Maikel Franco, Dee Strange-Gordon, Andrew Young, and Richard Urena to minor league deals.
Earlier today manager Dave Martinez told reporters the team will have multiple position battles with center, left, third, second, and short all being wide open.
Be it a small sample size, Adrianza has hit well at Nationals Park. In 5 games, he’s slashing .364/.364/.455, with three RBIs and an OPS of .818. He’s also hit well against Atlanta (.353/.476/.471) in 11 games, Mets (.296./380/.523) in 24 games, and Phillies (.311.354/.422) in 24 games.
This won’t be the last move the Nationals make. They still need a DH, with Riley Adams their best in-house option. For now they are still committed to Kieboom at third and will move García back to his natural position at short, with Hernández the projected starter at second.