INF Stephen Drew, Nationals Agree to $3.5M, 1-year Contract

WASHINGTON (AP) — Backup infielder Stephen Drew agreed to a $3.5 million, one-year contract to return to the Washington Nationals as a versatile member of their bench.

The team announced the deal on Thursday, after Drew passed his physical exam.

The Nationals did not reveal the financial terms, but a person familiar with the agreement told The Associated Press that Drew will make $3.5 million in 2017, with a chance to earn up to $1.25 million more in performance bonuses tied to the number of games he plays.

Drew would make an additional $150,000 if he appears in 80 games, $200,000 each for 90 and 100 games, $250,000 each for 110 and 120 games, and $200,000 for 130 games.

The person spoke on condition of anonymity because the money involved had not been announced.

Drew, who turns 34 in March, hit .266 with eight homers and 21 RBIs in 143 at-bats over 70 games last season, his first in Washington. That included 31 starts, spread out among second base, third base, shortstop and designated hitter.

Of Drew’s 38 hits, 20 went for extra bases, producing a .524 slugging percentage. He had three pinch-hit homers for the Nationals, who won the NL East for the third time in five seasons, then lost to the Los Angeles Dodgers in an NL Division Series.

Across 11 major league seasons with five clubs, Drew has a career .252 batting average, with 122 homers, 507 RBIs and 556 runs scored. He also has a .283 average as a pinch hitter.

Washington’s other top pinch hitter last season, Chris Heisey, agreed in November to a $1.4 million, one-year deal to come back to the team.


AP Baseball Writer Ronald Blum contributed to this report.

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