In need of a backup first baseman and some pop off the bench, the Washington Nationals signed Matt Adams to a one-year contract worth $4 million guaranteed Wednesday, according to a person with knowledge of the situation. Adams can earn up to another $500,000 in incentives. Adams, 29, effectively replaces Adam Lind, who became a free agent last month after the Nationals declined his $5 million mutual option. Instead, Washington gave Lind a $500,000 buyout. By going with Adams, the Nationals will spend anywhere from $4.5 to $5 million, combined, on the backup first basemen. Why choose Adams over Lind after Lind’s resurgent season as one of the most productive bench players in baseball in 2017? For one, Adams may end up costing less. Second, he is five years younger than his predecessor. Third, he is a very similar player who has produced at nearly an identical clip. While Lind owns a 112 career OPS+, Adams’s is 111. (OPS+ normalizes a player’s on-base-plus-slugging percentage, adjusting for park effects and other factors. A 100 OPS+ is the league average.) The two also have very similar career splits. For his career, Lind is batting .288 with an .852 OPS against righties and .217 with a .592 OPS against left-handers — though Lind was better off southpaws last season. Adams, meanwhile, has batted .286 with an .828 OPS against right-handers and .206 batting average with a .593 OPS against lefties in his career.
Nationals sign Matt Adams to replace slugging bench piece Adam Lind
Washington Post | Dec 22