Washington Nationals: 6 who might be traded this winter

rjuckett
WASHINGTON, DC - AUGUST 30: Wilmer Difo
WASHINGTON, DC - AUGUST 30: Wilmer Difo /
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MATT WIETERS

Again, catcher is a need for the Nats. Why would they trade Matt Wieters?

For a catcher hitting .225 last year there are $10.5 million reasons. Washington is on the hook for the full deal after Wieters wisely decided not to opt-out of his contract. If the right offer came along, and the partner will take a substantial part of the contract, you bet the Nats will listen.

As wonderful as Wieters handled the pitching staff last year, his endurance fell off a cliff after the All-Star break. He played in 123 games in 2017. His ideal workload behind the plate is around 90-110. They can ill afford another automatic out in the bottom of the lineup.

The key is his contract.

Washington refuses to eat money. (Insert your political joke of choice here.) If Wieters is on the payroll, he will play. On the off chance an American League team sees value with Wieters catching and playing a part-time designated hitter and offers substantial salary relief, then they might eat some cash to dump him.

The other variable is do the Nats think Pedro Severino and Raudy Read are major-league ready. Their brief September audition says no, but Wieters was so gassed by the end of the year that something must give.

This could be a case of addition by subtraction.

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