Taylor signed a one-year, $1.75 million deal with the Royals on Monday, Tim Brown of Yahoo Sports reports. The deal also includes $1 million in incentives. Taylor had essentially worn out his welcome in Washington, but he still possesses a mildly interesting combination of power and speed and Kansas City is as good of a landing spot as he could have hoped for. He will be competing with other toolsy reclamation projects like Franchy Cordero and Edward Olivares for playing time, so it's conceivable he could eclipse 400 plate appearances for the first time since 2017. More likely, he will be the Royals' fourth outfielder, getting most of his starts against left-handed pitchers.
Taylor cleared waivers Thursday and elected free agency, Jesse Dougherty of The Washington Post reports. The Nationals deemed Taylor expendable, and he'll test his luck on the open market rather than remain with the organization in a minor-league capacity. Taylor was a serviceable-enough player during his seven years in Washington but fits best in a bench role, as he's only once finished a season with a wRC+ above 80.
Taylor is out of the lineup for Monday's game against the Phillies. Taylor looked as though he might have an opportunity to serve as an everyday outfielder after Adam Eaton (finger) was shut down for the season Sept. 17, but he's only drawn two starts in the Nationals' subsequent six games. Instead, the lefty-hitting Andrew Stevenson has been the primary replacement for Eaton, and he should continue filling the larger portion of a platoon with Taylor during the final week of the regular season.
Taylor will sit for the first game of Friday's doubleheader against the Marlins. Taylor seemingly lines up as the primary right fielder down the stretch, with Adam Eaton done for the year with a broken finger, though it will be Andrew Stevenson at the position in this game. Taylor hasn't done much of note at the plate this season, though his .694 OPS (the product of a .208/.250/.444 slash line) is actually good for the second-highest mark of his seven-year career.
Taylor went 2-for-4 with a double and three RBI in the second game of Friday's doubleheader against Atlanta. After going 0-for-3 in the matinee, Taylor made an impact in the nightcap, driving in two with a third-inning double and then bunting home the eventual winning run in the seventh. Taylor started both games of the twin bill in right field with Juan Soto sidelined, and while an MRI on Soto's elbow came back clean Friday, Taylor could be in line for some consistent short-term playing time while the young slugger heals up.