Dec 14, 2010, 5:26 PM EDT
The Nationals have signed Matt Stairs to a minor-league contract, bringing aboard a veteran slugger who will most likely serve as their top left-handed pinch-hitter in 2011.
Stairs, who turns 43 in February, is baseball’s all-time leader with 23 pinch-hit home runs. He’s played for 12 different major-league clubs over the last 19 seasons in a career that began way back in 1992 with the Montreal Expos.
A first baseman and corner outfielder in his younger days, Stairs has been limited to DH and pinch-hitting duties in recent years. He hit .232 with six homers and 16 RBI in 78 games (111 plate appearances) for the Padres this season, with 57 of those plate appearances coming as a pinch-hitter.
The deal is not for guaranteed money, so if Stairs doesn’t make the Opening Day roster, it won’t cost the Nationals anything.
A native of New Brunswick, Stairs is 25 years older than one of the players he’ll play alongside next spring: Bryce Harper, who is set to participate in big-league camp at age 18.
NL EAST STANDINGS
WED: Diamondbacks at Nats, 7:05 p.m.
THU: Diamondbacks at Nats, 4:05 p.m.
FRI: Giants at Nats, 7:05 p.m.
SAT: Giants at Nats, 4:05 p.m.
SUN: Giants at Nats, 1:35 p.m.
MON: Nats at Phillies, 7:05 p.m.
TUE: Nats at Phillies, 7:05 p.m.
Full season schedule
ON THE RADIO
As ESPN-980 AM's Nats Insider, Mark makes daily appearances on the station's various shows. Here's the 2014 schedule (subject to change)...
MON: 12:45 p.m.
TUE: 2:30 p.m.
WED: 4:30 p.m.
THU: 2:30 p.m.
FRI: 1:30 p.m., 5:30 p.m.
SAT: 10:30 a.m.
*All times Eastern. You can also listen to the station on 94.3 FM, 92.7 FM and online at ESPN980.com. Click here for past audio clips.
Follow us on Twitter
- Strasburg gives Nats "what the doctor ordered"
- Instant analysis: Nationals 8, Diamondbacks 1
- Gonzalez on the Nats' rotation: 'I want to catch up' (VIDEO)
- Nats' McLouth to have shoulder surgery, out for season
- LaRoche, Desmond and Fister take on the ice bucket (VIDEO)
- Strasburg, Nationals go for eighth straight win against Arizona
- State of the Nationals' bullpen: Exhausted
- Around the NL East: Are the Marlins legit contenders?
- LaRoche finally gets to savor first walk-off homer
- Nats beat Diamondbacks in third straight walk-off win