TODAY: The Nationals have officially announced the signing.
NOVEMBER 11: The Nationals have agreed to a one-year, $1.4MM to bring back outfielder Chris Heisey, according to Jerry Crasnick of ESPN.com (via Twitter). The contract includes various performance incentives as well.
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Heisey, 31, provided Washington with a solid, right-handed-hitting presence from the bench last year. He ended with a .216/.290/.446 slash over 155 plate appearances, with nine home runs. There’s a fair bit of swing and miss in his game — he posted a 28.4% K rate last year — and Heisey has been an essentially average fielder and baserunner. But he obviously impressed the Nats, and it probably didn’t hurt that he came up with a big home run in the NLDS.
Looking at the roster, locking in a right-handed-hitting outfielder probably doesn’t dictate many other moves. Heisey has traditionally carried reverse splits, and will be expected to play a relatively minor role as a spot starter and pinch hitter. The signing probably doesn’t help Michael Taylor’s chances of cracking the Opening Day roster, and makes it appear somewhat unlikely that the club will sign a more significant fourth outfielder, but otherwise the primary needs remain the same.