The Nationals announced today that they have declined their side of a $4MM mutual option on first baseman Matt Adams. He’ll instead receive a $1MM buyout and head back onto the open market.
While it’s still possible Adams could return again to D.C., perhaps it’s likelier he’ll move along elsewhere after a disappointing campaign. While he put in a solid early showing this year, Adams faded to a .217/.277/.406 line with sixty strikeouts over his final 155 plate appearances on the year.
At his best, Adams is a well-above-average hitter against right-handed pitching. But the 31-year-old has never enjoyed sustained productivity when facing southpaws and is likely only a candidate for platoon/pinch-hitting duties.
It remains to be seen what direction the Nats will take at first base following their epic finish to the 2019 campaign. Ryan Zimmerman could return on a lesser deal once his option is formally declined, with Adams or another lefty bat joining the roster to share time. Or Zimmerman could hang up his spikes after the thrill of finally raising a trophy, in which case the D.C. organization could go in any number of different directions.