The Nationals have agreed to sign catcher Matt Wieters, a source confirmed to SB Nation on Tuesday. The deal is a two-year, $21 million contract that includes an opt-out after 2017, per FOX’s Ken Rosenthal.
Source: Wieters with #Nationals is two years, $21M, with opt-out after year one. Will get $10M in 2017, $11M if he returns in ’18.— Ken Rosenthal (@Ken_Rosenthal) February 21, 2017
The ex-Oriole has spent the entire offseason looking for a new club, being consistently linked to the Braves, Brewers, Rays and Angels before deciding on Washington.
Wieters, 30, will likely start behind the plate for the Nats, who also have Derek Norris, Jose Lobaton and Pedro Severino in the mix at catcher. The addition would appear to make Norris and Lobaton trade candidates, with Washington having the remainder of spring training to shop both veterans. Severino could also be in play in trade talks as the Nats look to acquire a proven back-end bullpen option, with White Sox closer David Robertson among their top targets.
Washington entered the offseason looking for a replacement for Wilson Ramos, a free agent who linked up with the Rays on a two-year deal. They traded for Norris before the Winter Meetings and appeared to be set on starting him, but remained in contact with Wieters throughout the entire winter.
Wieters has spent his entire career with the Orioles, hitting .256/.318/.421 with 117 homers in eight seasons. A four-time All-Star, Wieters hit .243/.302/.409 last season with Baltimore, less than two years removed from Tommy John surgery that limited him to 101 games in 2014 and 2015.
FanRag’s Jon Heyman first reported the pending deal.