The Nationals have several spots to fill, a solid chunk of money to possibly do it with and lots of quality options to choose from.
The free agent list this year is not about superstar names. Rather, it’s about depth and quality. Even the second tier of free agents holds value, especially if their contracts are brief and costs suppressed by a mediocre market.
All week, we’re going to take a look at individuals who could fit in different places for the Nationals. Here is a look at former Dodgers outfielder Joc Pederson.
What he does well: Hits right-handed pitching. Pederson has a .501 career slugging percentage against right-handers. His average remains low (.238) though he walks often enough to boost his on-base percentage 106 points above his career batting average. Pederson also has nine postseason home runs and an .852 OPS in 64 career postseason games.
Where he fits with the Nationals: At first base, DH and pinch-hitter. The Nationals need a left-handed bat if they are going to create a platoon at first base. They need one, in general, off the bench. And they need a left-handed DH option if the National League is again using the extra hitter. Pederson has been an outfielder for the majority of his seven-year career. He has played 20 games -- 19 starts -- at first base. As a former center fielder, transitioning to first base should not be difficult. The Nationals will create a platoon somewhere in order to bolster their bench and give Davey Martinez options. First base is the most likely spot, and Pederson would fit one half of what they need.
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