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Perspective: Odd Man Out: Corey Dickerson’s signing makes a crowded Nationals’ outfield even more so.
How does the recent signing of outfielder Corey Dickerson affect the Washington Nationals' now-crowded outfield?
Yesterday, we broke the news that the Nationals were bringing in LF Corey Dickerson on a one-year deal. This signing adds another name to a crowded list of suitors for the Washington Nationals’ outfield spots.
Dickerson has had a shockingly solid career with 114 OPS+ over 10 MLB seasons, hovering around league average defensively. Unfortunately, his offensive output has significantly diminished in recent years. Since 2020 Dickerson has hit .266/.313/.403/.717 for a 97 OPS+. FanGraphs projects Corey Dickerson for just 0.5 fWAR next year, which places him behind outfield options Joey Meneses, Lane Thomas, Dominic Smith, and Victor Robles in fWAR projections and ties him with Stone Garrett.
In short, Dickerson is uninspiring. The lefty is the definition of league average. Still, that veteran presence may be helpful in a room that includes youngsters Lane Thomas, Victor Robles, Alex Call, Stone Garrett, and eventually Robert Hassell III.
This is a trend Mike Rizzo has fallen into this off-season, signing veteran bats in lieu of leaving spots open for young guys, especially paralleled in 3B where Carter Kieboom and Jake Alu were expected to fight for the starting spot… until Rizzo re-signed Ildemaro Vargas and added Jeimer Candelario.
With recent developments signaling that the team will not be sold this offseason, one must question the logic behind limiting certain young players’ plate appearances for the sake of wins now. In an interview with reporters yesterday afternoon, Dickerson seems content figuring this out as they go “ I’m just going to prepare myself the best way possible and try to enjoy the moment.”.