Just days before their first spring training game, the Washington Nationals made a move to improve their depth at catcher.
On Tuesday, the Nationals agreed to a two-year, $21 million deal with free agent catcher Matt Wieters. The four-time All-Star will now assume the role of the team’s starting catcher, a position occupied by Wilson Ramos last season. Ramos was also a free agent this offseason, and signed with the Tampa Bay Rays back in December.
Wieters has spent his entire eight-year Major League career with the Baltimore Orioles. The 30-year-old switch-hitter is thought of to be one of the better hitting catchers in baseball. In 124 games last season, he batted .243 with 17 home runs and 66 RBIs. The best offensive season in his career thus far came in 2012, when he hit .249 and had 23 homers while collecting 83 RBIs.
Not only is Wieters a good hitter, but he is also a solid defensive player. He has a good arm and does not usually make many errors. Wieters is a two-time Gold Glove Award winner. The Nationals are getting a guy who is a good all-around player. Most catchers do not fit this description.
Nationals general manager Mike Rizzo knew that he was going to have to sign another catcher once Ramos left. Ramos had been a big part of the Nationals for the past few years. He was one of their best offensive players. Replacing him was not going to be easy, but Rizzo did a nice job of brining in other talented players at the position.. In December, the Nationals traded Pedro Avila to the San Diego Padres in exchange for catcher Derek Norris. Even though he has been a solid hitter throughout his career, Norris had a rough season in 2016. He batted just .186 with 14 home runs and 42 RBIs. Before the Wieters signing, it was looking like Norris was going to be the Nationals Opening Day catcher. Now however, he is most likely going to be a backup. Between Wieters and Norris, the Nationals have two decent power-hitting catchers
It is a little surprising that Wieters remained a free agent for as long as he did. Good hitting catchers are hard to find, and there are usually plenty of teams looking for one. As the offseason went on and nobody signed him, Wieters’ price dropped. This allowed Rizzo to come in late in the game and get a good deal on him. After adding this final piece, the Nationals appear to be ready to go for the 2017 season.
MLB Investigating Racist Social Media Messages Sent to Cubs’ Carl Edwards Jr.
Major League Baseball is investigating racial messages sent, via social media, to Chicago Cubs relief pitcher Carl Edwards Jr. prior to his demotion to the Triple-A Iowa Cubs back on April 6th.
According to The Athletic’s Patrick Mooney, the messages have caught the attention of both the Cubs and the MLB Players Association, leading to the launch of the investigation.
Mooney had been a solid bullpen option during the last few seasons, but had a nightmare start to the 2019 season posting a terrible 32.40 ERA in just 1.2 innings of work over four appearances.
Carlos Zambrano Attempting Comeback, Signs with Indy Team
Former MLB pitcher Carlos Zambrano is attempting a comeback and has signed with the American Association’s Chicago Dogs, according to the Chicago Sun-Times’ Gordon Wittenmyer.
Zambrano last pitched in the majors back in 2012 with the Miami Marlins, but earlier in his career he finished in the top five of the Cy Young voting in the National League three times as a member of the Chicago Cubs.
Zambrano started his comeback bid last fall when he took the mound for 7 starts in the Mexican League, pitching to the tune of a 5.18 ERA, and performing even worse during a short stint in the Venezuelan Winter League.
Given his recent lack of production, it is a longshot to believe that Zambrano will return to the MLB level, but stranger things have happened.
VIDEO: Giants’ CEO Larry Baer Knocks Down Wife During Argument
A video has surfaced showing San Francisco Giants team president and CEO Larry Baer knocking his wife to the ground during a fight over a cellphone, published on TMZ.
You can see the video below.
Baer has acknowledged the incident, saying; “My wife and I had an unfortunate public argument related to a family member and she had an injured foot and she fell off her chair in the course of the argument,” Baer said, according to the San Francisco Chronicle.
“The matter is resolved. It was a squabble over a cellphone. Obviously it’s embarrassing.”
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