Joel Sherman of the New York Post reports that the Nationals and first baseman Matt Adams have agreed to a one-year, $4 million contract. Adams can earn up to $500,000 through performance bonuses.
Adams, 29, spent this past season with the Cardinals and Braves, batting an aggregate .274/.319/.522 with 20 home runs and 65 RBI in 367 plate appearances. The Braves acquired him as a temporary replacement for Freddie Freeman, who had gotten injured.
Adams will back up Ryan Zimmerman at first base for the Nationals and serve as a bench bat. He has historically hit right-handed pitching much better than left-handed pitching, owning a .828/.593 OPS differential against them, respectively.
The White Sox have reportedly picked up first baseman Yonder Alonso from the Indians, according to Stadium. The return for Alonso is expected to be nothing more flashy than a “fringe prospect,” though the minutiae of the deal is still pending a formal announcement from both teams.
Alonso, 31, inked a two-year deal with the Indians during the 2017 offseason. His first campaign with the club yielded a modest .250/.317/.421 batting line, 23 home runs, .738 OPS and 0.7 fWAR in 574 PA. The real boon for the White Sox may not be a passable veteran bat, however, but something more intangible — like Alonso’s clout with his brother-in-law and highly-coveted free agent slugger, Manny Machado.
While Alonso’s 2018 output represented a significant decline from the career-best numbers he posted in 2017, he’s still a solid contributor at the plate and, more importantly, slated to remain under team control for the next two years with just $8 million owed in 2019 and a $9 million option in 2020. As MLB.com’s Anthony Castrovince notes, the $17 million the Indians just erased from their payroll should give them enough room to accommodate the contracts for right-handers Trevor Bauer and Corey Kluber — a bonus regardless of what they happen to get in the trade.