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.
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.
- Drew Storen comes through in Nats' 3-1 win over Cardinals
- Nationals respond to Williams' challenge, beat Cards
- Nats strike early on Wacha, beat Cardinals 3-1
- Span to join Nats on Saturday after second rehab game
- Ramos takes first swings since breaking left hand
- Denard Span on track to return to Nats this weekend
- Nats call up Xavier Cedeno, send Blake Treinen to Syracuse
- Nationals need a bounce-back vs. Cardinals
- Errors cost Nationals in ugly loss to Cardinals
- The Baseball Show: How can Strasburg turn it around?