Nationals reportedly bring back Matt Adams on one-year contract to bolster bench

After going 82-80 in 2018, the Washington Nationals have been one of the most active teams in baseball this offseason. They signed Patrick Corbin, most notably, but also added two new catchers (Yan Gomes, Kurt Suzuki), two new relievers (Kyle Barraclough, Trevor Rosenthal), and moved Tanner Roark in a salary-clearing trade.

On Saturday, the Nationals stayed busy by signing slugging first baseman Matt Adams to a one-year contract, according to multiple reports. The team has not yet announced the signing.

Adams, 30, earned $4 million in 2018, a season he split between the Nationals and Cardinals. He signed with Washington after being non-tendered by the Braves last winter, then was unloaded on St. Louis in a salary dump trade waiver claim in August. Now he's back with the Nationals as a bench bat.

This past season Adams put up a .239/.309/.477 line with 21 home runs in 337 total plate appearances, including .257/.332/.510 with 18 home runs in 277 plate appearances with Washington. He'll again serve as a bench bat and an occasional platoon partner for Ryan Zimmerman. This is the club's bench at the moment:

Adding a second baseman would push Wilmer Difo to the bench and re-signing Bryce Harper would likely push either Adam Eaton or Victor Robles on to the bench. Harper and Juan Soto would surely play every single day, leaving Robles and Eaton splitting time in the other outfield spot.

As busy as they've been this winter, the Nationals still have quite a bit of work to do, and upgrading the bench was on their to-do list. Adams adds a lefty power threat -- he's a career .283/.323/.478 hitter with nine home runs in 198 career pinch-hitting appearances -- and also some first base insurance in case Zimmerman misses time with an injury again.

Adams did not rank among our top 50 free agents this offseason.

CBS Sports Writer

Mike Axisa joined CBS Sports in 2013. He has been a member of the BBWAA since 2015 and has previously written about both fantasy baseball and real life baseball for,,,... Full Bio

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