The Nationals have avoided arbitration with outfielder Michael A. Taylor, as per reporter Robert Murray (Twitter link). Taylor will make $3.325MM in guaranteed money next season, slightly above the $3.25MM projected by MLBTR contributor Matt Swartz. Taylor can also make another $25K in bonuses should he reach 300 PA for the Nats next season.
Seen as a top-60 prospect headed into the 2015 season, Taylor has shown some flashes of potential (particularly during an impressive 2017 season) but has struggled to lock down anything beyond a fourth outfield role. Taylor has hit only .240/.294/.393 over 1705 career plate appearances, and the end of his tenure in Washington seemed to be looming in the summer when he was optioned to the minors for over two months.
However, 2019 ended on a great note for both Taylor and the Nationals, as the outfielder re-emerged to make a big contribution to the club’s World Series run. Taylor had a 1.010 OPS over 23 postseason plate appearances, including the solo homer that the Nats on the board in their 3-1 win over the Cardinals in Game Two of the NLCS.
Taylor still offers value to Washington as a fourth outfielder capable of solid glovework at all three positions, as well as elite speed. Taylor turns 29 in March but is still controllable through the 2021 season in his fourth and final year of arbitration. This fourth year arose as a result of his lengthy demotion, as Taylor finished the 2019 season with only four years and 129 days of service time.
Trea Turner, Roenis Elias, and Joe Ross are the three remaining arb-eligible Nationals who have yet to reach agreements with the team prior to tomorrow’s 11am CT deadline for exchanging arbitration figures. You can follow along with all of the arb dealings on the MLBTR Arbitration Tracker.