On Sunday, utility infielder/outfielder Ehire Adrianza signed a 1-year contract with the Nationals, as reported by @ElExtrabase on Twitter. Adrianza was an often-overlooked yet important member of the Braves’ title team, appearing in 109 games during the 2021 regular season. His contract with Washington is pending a physical, and the financial terms of the deal have not yet been revealed.
With almost a dozen players making starts in Atlanta’s outfield in 2021, it can be easy to overlook the contributions of some of the utility guys; Adrianza deserves a ton of credit for his willingness and ability to play just about every position on the field. In those 109 appearances, he played second base, third base, shortstop, all three outfield positions, and designated hitter— all while maintaining an on-base percentage of .327 and an OPS of .728. Those are incredibly solid numbers for a switch-hitting jack-of-all-trades fielder. Following the trade deadline outfield replenishment, Adrianza returned to serving primarily as a pinch hitter. However, he remained a solid bench bat through the entirety of the season and made appearances in 10 out of 11 postseason games. At a pivotal moment in Game 6 of the NLCS, Ehire chipped a two-out, pinch-hit double down the right field line to move Travis d’Arnaud to third. This brought up Eddie Rosario, who promptly gave one of Walker Buehler’s 4-seam fastballs a quick exit over the right field wall and put the Braves in the lead for the last time. If Adrianza doesn’t hit that double, there’s a chance that the Braves never even make it to the World Series.
Willing (and able) to play any position, Adrianza is a solid pickup for the Nats, and I hope he thrives there; he’s the type of hard-working player who is just impossible to cheer against. It’s certainly unfortunate that he went to a division opponent, but I’m happy to see him continue to get Major League opportunities, and make some serious cash!
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