The Nationals have acquired veteran outfielder Ryan Raburn from the White Sox, according to a club announcement from Chicago’s Triple-A affiliate in Charlotte. Chelsea Janes of the Washington Post reports that the Nats will send cash or a player to be named later back to the White Sox in exchange for Raburn, who will be assigned to Triple-A Syracuse in the Nats organization (Twitter links).
The 36-year-old Raburn, a veteran of 11 Major League seasons, was in camp with the Reds this spring but didn’t make the roster and ultimately latched on with Chicago’s Triple-A affiliate. He’s gotten off to a nice start with the Knights, hitting .277/.419/.434 through 105 plate appearances there and will give Washington some depth and, possibly, an eventual bench option against left-handed pitching. It’s worth noting that outfielder Chris Heisey recently suffered a torn biceps tendon and is waiting to learn whether he’ll require surgery to repair the injury, so Raburn could conceivably give the Nats another veteran option to fill that role on the big league club.
Despite spending the 2016 season playing his home games at the hitter-friendly Coors Field, Raburn struggled through one of the worst years of his career. In 256 plate appearances with the Rox last season, he batted just .220/.309/.404, though he did tally nine homers. Raburn has long been a potent bat against left-handed pitchers, as evidenced by his .261/.341/.487 lifetime batting line when holding the platoon advantage.