De Aza signed a minor-league contract with the Nationals on Wednesday, Kevin Brown of ESPN Radio reports. The 33-year-old left the Athletics at the end of spring training after not breaking camp with the big-league club, but he'll get a new opportunity in the Nationals' organization. He had a down year with the Mets last season, as he batted just .205 in 234 at-bats, but he can play all three outfield spots and could receive a callup to the big leagues if the Nationals' outfield gets even more depleted.
De Aza opted out of his minor-league contract with the Athletics on Monday, Susan Slusser of the San Francisco Chronicle reports. With Jake Smolinski expected to miss extended time to start the season, De Aza was competing for a reserve outfield spot, though it appears the job will likely go to Jaff Decker now. The 32-year-old will now look to catch on elsewhere with another minor-league deal.
De Aza is competing with Jaff Decker for the Athletics' fifth and final outfield spot, Susan Slusser of the San Francisco Chronicle reports. With Jake Smolinski (shoulder) expected to miss several months after surgery, there's an opening on the Oakland roster. De Aza brings nine years of major league experience to the table but is off to a slow start this spring, hitting .217 over 23 Cactus League at-bats. The veteran has an opt-out clause if he doesn't make the Opening Day roster, so his time with the A's may be limited if he doesn't beat out Decker over the coming weeks.
De Aza, a non-roster invitee who signed a minor league deal on Jan. 25, is making a strong bid to stick as a fifth outfielder, Jane Lee of MLB.com reports. The veteran is making the most of his opportunity thus far this spring, hittng .500 (3-for-6) over his first four games. De Aza has seen time in the leadoff spot when Rajai Davis has rested and is parlaying some extra playing time that a shoulder injury to Jake Smolinski has afforded him into solid production. While he did hit a career-low .205 last season with the Mets, De Aza owns a career .261 mark overall and can play all three outfield positions, making him a particularly valuable commodity if he can bounce back at the plate this spring. "He's done a nice job for us," A's manager Bob Melvin said. "We've seen him in the past have some good games for us when he was with the White Sox. As a left-handed-hitting veteran outfielder, we knew he would be a guy that would be intriguing in this camp, especially due to our lack of outfielders and center fielders in particular."
De Aza signed a minor league deal with the A's on Friday, MLB.com's Jane Lee reports. He posted a .205/.297/.321 slash line with six home runs and four steals in 267 plate appearances with the Mets last year, so it's not surprising he was forced to settle for a minor league pact. The A's don't have a particularly impressive collection of outfielders, but De Aza will still need to catch a few breaks in order to see significant playing time in the majors this season.