The Washington Nationals have had a bizarre offseason, to say the least. They’ve dealt their two best pitching prospects – Lucas Giolito and Reynaldo Lopez – as well as former first round pick Dane Dunning for White Sox outfielder Adam Eaton, and have re-signed outfielder Chris Heisey. They have now also retained another player of their own.
According to Chelsea Janes, the Nationals have re-signed infielder Stephen Drew on a one-year deal.
Washington Nationals Re-Sign Stephen 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
Drew will earn $3.5 million in 2017, and will have the potential to earn $1.2 million more in incentives.
Last year, Drew hit .266, hit eight home runs and drove in 21 runs. He was a power bat off the bench and having him back is an asset for the Nationals, considering the potential for injury in their starting lineup.
Longtime National infielder Ryan Zimmerman has struggled with injuries over the last few years. Drew serves as a safety blanket. He can play both shortstop and second base, and while the Nationals have All-Star Daniel Murphy at second, he can easily move to first, allowing Drew to take the reins at second. Drew will also be helpful in that he makes the Nationals’ bench a bit deeper.
While they’ve also retained Heisey, it appears unclear just how reliable the Nationals bench will be. Infielder Wilmer Difo was so-so in 2016; catcher Pedro Severino played well in spurts and it’s unclear whether Brian Goodwin or Michael Taylor are capable of stepping in for Bryce Harper, Jayson Werth and Adam Eaton, if injuries occur.
Re-signing Drew helps make the Nationals’ bench a bit deeper, and helps gives them a veteran presence. He also poses a power threat at the plate, and is a very good fielder. Considering his attributes both at the plate and on the field, and his team-friendly deal, resigning Stephen Drew was a very good move for the Nationals.