The Nationals have claimed infielder Lucius Fox off waivers from the Orioles, per announcements from both clubs. Baltimore had claimed Fox off waivers from the Royals earlier this month.
Fox, 24, was a big-time international signing by the Giants out of the Bahamas back in the 2015-16 international signing period. Signed to a $6MM bonus, he was viewed as a gifted up-the-middle defender with a promising hit tool but a lack of power. San Francisco clearly wasn’t the only club enamored of his skill set, as Fox has been included in a couple of fairly notable trades — going from San Francisco to Tampa Bay in the Evan Longoria swap and from the Rays to the Royals in exchange for Brett Phillips.
To this point in his career, Fox has gotten on base at a respectable clip but has indeed demonstrated a lack of power. In five minor league seasons, he’s posted a .244/.339/.332 batting line — never topping five home runs or 20 doubles in a given season. Scouting reports, including this one from FanGraphs’ Eric Longenhagen, note that Fox has plus speed and strong defensive tools but is still inconsistent with the glove.
Fox will vie for a spot in a fairly wide-open Nationals infield mix next spring, where Alcides Escobar, Luis Garcia and Carter Kieboom look like the incumbent options at shortstop, second base and third base, respectively. That said, Fox also has a minor league option remaining, so if he lasts on the 40-man roster through the remainder of the offseason, he can be sent to Triple-A without first needing to pass through waivers.