The Pittsburgh Pirates have reportedly signed veteran OF Daniel Nava to a minor-league deal with an invite to Spring Training
Earlier today we asked if the Pittsburgh Pirates felt comfortable with their current outfield options. Apparently, the club still feels there can be a chance to get better in left field, as Ken Rosenthal reports that the team has signed veteran OF Daniel Nava:
Source: #Pirates signing free-agent OF Daniel Nava to minor-league contract with invitation to major-league spring training. Expectation is that he might become part of LF platoon.
— Ken Rosenthal (@Ken_Rosenthal) February 6, 2018
Nava is coming off of a 2017 that saw him post a 1.1 fWAR/.357 wOBA season in 80 games with the Philadelphia Phillies. His season was cut short by a lower back injury.
Nova profiles as something of a prototypical platoon/fourth outfielder option. He carried an excellent 12.1 percent walk rate last season to go along with a 17.8 percent strikeout rate. He won’t bring much in the way of pop — Nava has a career ISO of just .114 — but has been known to get on base steadily for his career.
By no means will this move set the Pittsburgh Pirates outfield ablaze. Yet there are certainly worse options out there for a contract if this ilk. Should Nava perform well, the Pirates might be able to flip him at the trade deadline for a minor prospect. Nava has been known to avoid weak contact — he has a soft hit percentage of just 12.8 percent for his career — and anytime you can add a player that can put a solid bat on the ball while getting on base, you might be able to get lucky.
On the surface, this does seem to preclude the club from signing a further outfielder such as Melky Cabrera. With just eight days until Spring Training begins, we may in fact be looking at the Pittsburgh Pirates’ Opening Day roster among its current 40-man.