When Wilson Ramos signed a free-agent deal with the Tampa Bay Rays earlier this offseason, the Washington Nationals knew they needed to replace their starting catcher.
So, they started by trading for veteran backstop Derek Norris from the San Diego Padres.
While established backup catcher Jose Lobaton is also a part of the roster, the consensus was that the Nats needed to upgrade the position, even with the new additions.
For that reason, Washington rumored to be a possible landing spot for highly-touted free agent Matt Wieters.
And that’s exactly where he’ll be playing ball to start the 2016 season.
On Tuesday, Washington came to a two-year, $21 million agreement with the former Baltimore Orioles standout.
Since making his Major League debut in 2009, the switch-hitting 6’5” backstop has hit 117 homers with 437 RBIs and a .256 batting average. His home runs rank third among all MLB catchers over that span despite the fact that he dealt with a number of injuries over the years.
Last year, he earned his fourth American League All-Star selection by hitting .243 with 17 home runs and 66 RBIs in 124 games. He’s also a two-time Gold Glove winner.
An interesting tidbit to consider is that Wieters’ agent Scott Boras now has 11 clients on the Nationals, including Max Scherzer, Bryce Harper and Stephen Strasburg.
In a lineup that will likely include newcomer Adam Eaton at the leadoff spot followed by some combination of Trea Turner, Bryce Harper, Daniel Murphy, Jayson Werth and Anthony Rendon, it remains to be seen where Wieters will hit in the order.
The sixth or seventh spot seems like the most likely place in what should be one of the highest-scoring offenses in the National League in 2017.