In terms of waiting out a long offseason, it is a match made in “finally” heaven: free agent catcher Matt Wieters is joining the Washington Nationals on a two-year, $21 million deal with an opt-out after the first year … otherwise known as a one-year deal with a player option for the second year. But whatever you want to call it.
Pending a physical, Wieters will join the Nationals, who had missed out on a few high-profile free agents this offseason, and, outside of adding Adam Eaton in a trade that was very well-received for the White Sox, hadn’t done a whole lot to improve their otherwise competitive team.
Wieters is not an impact guy at this point, but he figures to improve the Nats’ expected offensive production behind the plate (though, because they lost Wilson Ramos, the position won’t necessarily be better off in 2017 than it was in 2016). The Nationals also traded for Derek Norris earlier this offseason, but his bat has cratered in recent years.
The Nationals currently project (PECOTA) to win 87 games in the NL East, one behind the Mets. Regardless of the Wieters addition, they figured to be in the playoff hunt once again this year, so any improvements they make are notable.