The Nationals are hoping one player can regain his All-Star form while wearing their uniform.
Washington has signed outfielder Jesse Winker to a minor league deal, according to Andrew Golden of The Washington Post.
Winker was an All-Star for the Cincinnati Reds during the 2021 season. The Orlando native hit .305 with an OPS of .949 to go along with 24 home runs and 71 RBI in 110 games played. Winker appeared to be on the cusp of stardom before he left Cincinnati for Seattle following the 2021 campaign.
However, a lingering back injury has hampered Winker’s play over the past two seasons. In 2022, he hit .219 with 14 homers and 53 RBI in 136 games for the Mariners. Winker latched onto the Milwaukee Brewers last season and experienced his MLB career nadir: a batting average below the Mendoza Line at .199 with just one home run and 23 RBI in 61 games.
Signing Winker to a minor league deal is a low-risk gamble for the Nationals. They could easily cut him if he doesn’t perform or bring him up to the main 25-man roster should he have a 2024 resurgence.