Matt Weiters' New Deal
On February 24th the Nationals got a much needed upgrade behind the plate. In desperate need of a reliable, productive catcher, the Nats got Matt Wieters. The Nationals signed him to a 2 yr/$21 million contract, with an opt out after year one. This signing makes a lot of sense, and I'm surprised it happened this late in the offseason.
Wieters, 30, has spent the entirety of his career with the Baltimore Orioles, continuing that tenured with them in 2016, accepting a qualifying offer. After losing a heartbreaking wildcard game in 2016 with the Orioles, Wieters decided to test the free agent market, and from very early on, the Nationals seemed like a perfect fit for him. After losing Wilson Ramos to free agency, the Nationals were without a catcher to manage their top tier pitching rotation. Ramos had made his first ever All Star team in 2016, and the Nationals wanted someone who could fill those shoes. Early in the offseason the Nationals acquired Derek Norris, and although he is a solid option, the Nationals wanted more. Wieters, a 6-time American League All Star seemed like the perfect fit for the Nationals. When the Nationals traded for Adam Eaton, they gave up a very high rated prospect, so trading didn't seem like the bet route, and Wieters was by far the best free agent on the market. Wieters had an alright season last year hitting .243 with 17 home runs and 66 RBI's being elected to the All Star team. This created the perfect chance for the Nationals, and they didn't miss it.
Wieters will be a great addition to the Nationals, bringing a new, veteran presence behind the plate for their young and talented pitching staff. It'll be fun to see if Wieters can do what Ramos did last year, or if he can do even better. For a relatively team friendly contract, Matt Wieters is perfect for the Nats, and they got him for a good price as well.