NATS HAVE A DEAL WITH FREE AGENT 1B ERIC THAMES

By Sam Bush

The Nationals are signing free agent first baseman Eric Thames to a one-year deal, pending a physical, Britt Ghiroli reports for The Athletic.

Thames, 33, is a left-handed power bat who can also play some outfield. He hit .247 with 25 home runs, 23 doubles, two triples and 61 RBI in 459 plate appearances for the Brewers last season.

He gives the Nationals infield flexibility. Last week the Nats added versatile infielder Starlin Castro, who can play both middle infield positions as well as third base. Re-signing Howie Kendrick was of course their first big position player acquisition. The 36-year-old split time at first and second base for the Nationals last season, while also playing a little third.

The Nats also brought back Asdrubal Cabrera on a one-year, $2.5 million deal over the weekend. The 34-year-old’s primary position has been shortstop, but he’s played plenty of second and third base in his career as well. He played first and second base, with some spot duty at third, in 38 games for the Nationals last season.

The Nats have moved extremely quickly in free agency over the past week. In addition to the Castro signing, they’ve signed reliever Will Harris, who gave up the game-winning home run to Kendrick in Game 7 of the World Series, and brought back Daniel Hudson, who recorded the final three outs for the Nats in the World Series, earlier this afternoon.

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