Minor league deals can be signed during the lockout, as so Strange-Gordon will now turn to Washington as the hopeful landing spot for his return to the majors. Strange-Gordon signed minors contracts with the Reds, Brewers, Cubs, and Pirates in 2021 but none of those deals materialized into any big league playing time, thus leaving Strange-Gordon on the sidelines of a MLB season for the first time since 2010.
The 33-year-old is very familiar with the NL East, achieving some of his greatest successes over three seasons with the Marlins from 2015-17. Strange-Gordon won the 2015 NL batting title and led the league with 205 hits and 58 stolen bases that same season, then going on to capture another stolen-base crown in 2017.
Unfortunately for Strange-Gordon, 2017 also marked his last season as a productive regular. After being traded to the Mariners in December 2017, Strange-Gordon posted only a combined 0.2 fWAR over three seasons in Seattle, batting .266/.293/.343 for a 74 wRC+. While still an excellent baserunner, Strange-Gordon’s difficulties in getting on base largely neutralized that skill, and he was also hampered by a position switch from second base to center field.
The Nats inked Cesar Hernandez to a one-year, $4MM free agent deal prior to the lockout, making him their leading candidate for the everyday second base job. As Hernandez is coming off a lackluster year himself, however, Strange-Gordon represents some veteran depth at the position, not to mention a utility piece that could also chip in as a left fielder or shortstop in a pinch. With the experienced duo of Hernandez and Alcides Escobar tentatively penciled in as Washington’s starting middle infield combo, Strange-Gordon will look to join youngsters Luis Garcia and Lucius Fox in the competition for bench roles.