The addition of Matt Wieters to the Washington Nationals gives the team greater depth and flexibility. What gaps close now with him on the team?
By signing the All-Star veteran, the Nationals not only bolster an impressive offense, but open the door for other improvements. By the time we get into the meat of the Grapefruit League, all the perceived offseason holes Washington carried into 2017 will be filled. At least on paper, anyway.
After several months of feigning little interest—citing Wieters lack of ability to frame pitches, for one—agent Scott Boras got his client a contract for $10.5 million this year and at least that for 2018. Wieters can opt-out after the season ends. Never underestimate Boras’ ability to get deals done.
An upgrade offensively over fellow newcomer Derek Norris, this deal goes well beyond who catches the majority of games. General Manager Mike Rizzo has earned a shrewd reputation. Some of the luster wore off in the public view after the end of the playoffs and Winter Meetings, but Washington is on the verge of being scary good again.
Whether Wieters sticks around next season is not important. It truly is all about 2017 and winning now. Although there are many things you cannot predict and project in sports, covering your immediate bases helps in the long run against slumps and injury.
Here are three things about the Washington Nationals that change the moment Wieters appears in front of the cameras wearing a “Curly W” cap. None of them involve Boras’ ever-expanding bank account.