The Nationals are signing another minor league deal with utility player Dee Strange-Gordon, reports Jesse Dougherty of the Washington Post. He and the Nats agreed to a minor league deal in the offseason, with Strange-Gordon cracking the Opening Day Roster but getting released last month.
Strange-Gordon, 34, made his MLB debut in 2011 with the Dodgers and spent another three seasons there. He then spent three seasons each with the Marlins and Mariners, rarely hitting for much power overall but providing plenty of speed and athleticism. In 1,025 career games, he’s hit just 18 home runs but has stolen 336 bases, producing an overall batting line of .286/.319/.360.
With the Nats this year, he was used sparingly, getting into just 23 games over a two-month stretch on the roster, though a two-week stint on the COVID IL also played a part in that. As a National, he produced a nice .305 batting average but not a single walk or home run, leading to a slash line of .305/.305/.356, wRC+ of 82.
After getting designated for assignment in mid-June, he rejected an outright assignment and returned to free agency. Now, almost a month later, he’s returned to the Nats’ organization. Although he was squeezed off of the roster at that time, it’s possible that more openings are created in the coming weeks. With the August 2 trade deadline just over two weeks away and the Nationals holding the worst record in baseball at 30-63, they are obvious sellers. MLBTR’s recent list of trade candidates highlighted Josh Bell, Nelson Cruz, Cesar Hernandez and Victor Robles as guys who could potentially be subtracted from the lineup. Then there was a bombshell report yesterday that the club will consider trading superstar Juan Soto.
Regardless of how it plays out, it seems likely that at least a couple of guys will be on the move soon, which could provide a path for Strange-Gordon to return to the big league club as a bench/utility option. Earlier this year, he played shortstop, left field and center field, but has also spent most of his career at second base prior to this season.