Alejandro De Aza's real-life utility has been steadily declining over the past five seasons, to the point where he's been a below-replacement-level player over the past two years, and it's difficult to see that trend reversing in his age-34 season. He sat out the first two and a half months of 2017 after opting out of his minor-league deal with the A's at the end of spring training. De Aza ultimately signed with the Nationals and was promoted two months later, seeing a total of 70 plate appearances down the stretch. He walked just 4.3 percent of the time in that limited sample and failed to homer, resulting in a measly 29 wRC+. De Aza also graded out poorly on defense despite making just one appearance in center field (46 appearances in 2016). It's not a lock that De Aza even gets another chance in the majors. If he does, it will be as a reserve outfielder.
De Aza is not in the lineup Wednesday against the Astros, Chelsea Janes of The Washington Post reports. After starting three consecutive games, over which he went 1-for-10, De Aza will head to the bench. Andrew Stevenson will start in right field and hit ninth in De Aza's place.
De Aza will start in right field and lead off Tuesday against the Astros, Chelsea Janes of The Washington Post reports. Until the Nationals bring back one of their injured outfielders from the disabled list, it appears that De Aza could be a fixture in the lineup. He'll draw his third consecutive start Tuesday after opening his Nationals career with a 1-for-8 showing at the dish.
The Nationals selected De Aza's contract from Triple-A Syracuse prior to Wednesday's game against the Angels, Chelsea Janes of The Washington Post reports. With Brian Goodwin (groin) landing on the 10-day disabled list, De Aza is set to make his first major-league appearance of the 2017 season in the coming days. He's played 56 games for Syracuse since signing a minor-league deal in mid-June, hitting .280/.368/.403 during his time with the club. De Aza will provide depth at all three outfield positions, which is a necessity for a Nationals team that has lost Goodwin and Bryce Harper (knee) in recent days.
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.