UPGRADING AT CATCHER
Although Pedro Severino is the catcher of the future, if the Nationals are to make the 2017 World Series, they need an established hand behind the plate.
The ACL injury to Wilson Ramos was a big reason the Nats failed to move on. Severino and Jose Lobaton did a respectable job catching in the playoffs, but Ramos’ steady hand and bat this summer were missed in the fall.
Although Severino could surprise everyone and produce an amazing rookie season as Turner did this year, the Nationals are needing a veteran catcher who can handle calling games without being a negative at the plate. Severino, if you remember, received his signs from pitching coach Mike Maddux in the dugout. Not a winning formula.
Mike Wieters from the Baltimore Orioles is available via free agency. The right package could draw Brian McCann south from the New York Yankees. Washington may re-sign the injured Ramos and hope the Lobaton/Severino combo can hold their own the first half or take a flier on an aging A.J. Pierzynski to hold the fort.
Chances are they try to score Wieters and let Ramos go to the American League where he can DH and catch. Strengthen the catcher’s spot, as Severino grows into the job and can call his own games, and Washington will be primed for the next World Series run.