De Aza, 33, spent the spring with the Athletics. But he opted out of the deal late in camp when it became apparent that he wouldn’t crack the Opening Day roster. De Aza has yet to sign with another organization since.
The 2016 season was a bit of an odd one for the veteran outfielder. He landed a $5.75MM guarantee from the Mets, but never really fit after the team re-signed Yoenis Cespedes. He ultimately slashed just .205/.297/.321 over 267 plate appearances, his least activity since he establishes himself as a regular back in 2012. But De Aza has mostly been a slightly above-average hitter in the majors.
For the time being, De Aza will function as depth. But it’s possible to imagine him factoring in at the major league level for the Nats. He’s capable of playing center field and would offer a left-handed-hitting alternative to the (currently hot-hitting) Brian Goodwin in a reserve role. The righty swinging Michael Taylor is currently standing in at center for the injured Adam Eaton, who is likely to miss the rest of the season. Optimally, Taylor would be paired with a platoon partner, though that’s not currently possible with the organization also dealing with an injury to Jayson Werth.