The Orioles lost out on their second free-agent player in a span of hours Friday afternoon when outfielder Nate McLouth agreed to terms on a two-year deal with the Washington Nationals pending a physical, according to an industry source.
McLouth will get $10.75 million guaranteed, and the deal includes a third-year club option for 2016, according to the source.
Earlier in the day, former Orioles right-hander Scott Feldman agreed to a three-year, $30-million deal with the Houston Astros.
The Orioles wanted to re-sign both players, but with the free-agency money flying, the club will now be forced to go elsewhere to fill their needs.
The Orioles were able to re-sign the McLouth to a one-year, $2 million deal last year during the winter meetings. After he hit .258/.329/.399 with 31 doubles, 12 homers, 36 RBIs and 30 stolen bases this season, it became apparent the Orioles would likely need to make at least a two-year commitment to keep McLouth in Baltimore.
Being unable to sign McLouth hurts in general, but it is especially stinging to lose out on him to the regional rival Nationals. McLouth will likely be a fourth outfielder in Washington, but he can fill in at all three outfield positions.
It continues a week in which the Orioles shipped former All-Star closer Jim Johnson to the Oakland Athletics to free up salary.