The Seattle Mariners have signed outfielder Xavier Nady to a minor league deal according to multiple reports. He will report to Triple-A Tacoma with the hopes of earning a call-up.
Nady, a right-handed bat, has hit lefties well his entire career. Apparently, the M’s are looking for a bat they can put in the OF on days they go against a lefty. Which has been often. Prior to Tuesday’s game, the Mariners had faced four straight left-handed starters.
I have been a fan of Nady’s since he played for Triple-A Portand (Ore) in the San Diego Padres organization. After watching him in 2004 bat .330 with 22 homers and 70 RBI in 74 games, I was almost certain he was going to be a star.
He had moderate success with the Padres, New York Mets and Pittsburgh Pirates. His best MLB season was in 2008 where he batted .305 with 25 homers and 95 RBI between the Pirates and New York Yankees.
He has had two Tommy John surgeries (2002, 2009) which limited his playing time and probably kept him from really blossoming. In the majors, he has also played for the Cubs, Diamondbacks, Nationals and Giants. He had been with the Padres to start the 2014 season and was designated for assignment on May 5th and refused to accept his assignment to the minors, granting him free agency.
So, I’m torn over this signing. On one hand, I feel like the Mariners need a power bat that they can put in the lineup, preferably in the outfield. So why the heck would they sign Nady – a 35-year old, past his prime, decent player who does not fill that void.
On the other hand, I can see the benefit in signing a guy that has a 112 wRC+against lefties for his career. Especially when you consider that the Mariners current outfielders have combined for 70 wRC+ so far this season.