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Nationals rumors: Club not interested in signing Matt Wieters

Atlanta has emerged as an early favorite to land Wieters.

Tommy Gilligan-USA TODAY Sports

Washington has been linked to Matt Wieters but the club might not pursue him this winter. If he declines the qualifying offer Baltimore is expected to make, Wieters will become a free agent, and according to MASN's Roch Kubatko, the Nationals are not expected to be interested.

There is no guarantee the Orioles will make Wieters a qualifying offer, but if they do it remains unlikely the veteran catcher would accept it. Wieters is represented by Scott Boras, who tends to encourage the players he represents to receive the most valuable contract through free agency. Boras represents numerous Nationals which could give Washington an edge if they decide to pursue Wieters.

Although they might not be interested initially, the Nationals could attempt to sign Wieters after evaluating the performance of Wilson Ramos. Ramos struggled throughout 2015, batting .229/.258/.358 to complement 15 home runs and 68 RBIs. Ramos batted .267 over 88 contests in 2014and the Nationals were confident he would emerge as a consistent starting option.

There are not many productive catchers set to become free agents, which could give Wieters and Boras an advantage when they try and work out a deal. Over 75 games last season, Wieters batted .267/.319/.422 in addition to eight home runs and 25 RBIs.

Kubatko points out the Atlanta could be a potential landing spot for Wieters since he is familiar with the area. He reportedly grew up as a Braves fan, played at Georgia Tech and has a home in Atlanta. Ultimately, the Braves would make sense. A.J. Pierzynski played well for the club last season but will become a free agent and Christian Bethancourt was not notably efficient as a backup.

Wieters is one of the more productive free agent catchers in a group that also includes Dioner Navarro, Jarrod Saltalamacchia, Pierzynski and Geovany Soto.