Matt Stairs crossing home plate at Nats Park as a member of the Padres. (C.Nichols/NatsNewsNetwork)
The Washington Nationals announced this morning they signed 1B/OF/PH Matt Stairs to a non-guaranteed minor league contract, which includes an invitation to Major League Spring Training.
Stairs is an 18-year big league veteran who has competed in four post-seasons and won a World Series championship with the Philadelphia Phillies in 2008. He owns the all-time Major League mark with 23 pinch-hit home runs. Stairs enters 2011 having played for a record-tying 12 different Major League teams and having homered for a record-tying 11 different clubs.
The 42-year-old tied for the Major League lead with four pinch-hit home runs last season, after leading all big league pinch hitters with five homers and 15 RBI (tied) in 2009. Overall in 2010, Stairs clubbed six home runs, six doubles and 16 RBI in 111 plate appearances with the San Diego Padres.
Stairs has reached the 20-homer plateau six times en route to hitting 265 home runs and posting 897 RBI during his career.
GM Mike Rizzo has said on several occasions this off-season he wanted to upgrade his bench with professionals that knew and understood their roles, and Stairs fills that requirement. He made just 17 starts in the field last season of his 78 appearances, three at first base, 13 in left field and one in right field.
The Nats beat the Marlins 6-4 on Michael Morse's 30th home run of the season, a three-run shot in the ninth inning. By virtue of that win, the Nats are 79-80 and have clinched third place in the N.L. East. If they win out they'll finish above .500.