The Washington Nationals have agreed to a deal with first baseman Matt Adams, pending a physical, a person familiar with the situation confirmed Saturday afternoon. The contract is for one year and $3 million, with a mutual option for 2020 and a $1 million buyout.
Adams played 94 games for the Nationals in 2018 before he was traded in August in a payroll-saving move. He signed a one-year, $4 million deal with the Nationals on Dec. 22, 2017. This offseason he was able to lock up his short-term future a week sooner, and the new deal does not necessarily mean he will make less money for the coming season. Mutual options don’t typically get picked up and, if Adams’s isn’t, he will end up making $4 million.
The 30-year-old fills a need for the Nationals: a slugging, left-handed bat who can spell Ryan Zimmerman at first base and provide power off the bench. Adams hit a combined 21 home runs for the Nationals and St. Louis Cardinals last season, and he hit 20 in 2017. His batting average dipped a bit in 2018 — down to .239 — but he is a career .266 hitter who has averaged 22 home runs per 162 games in his seven-year career.