Washington Nationals should not pursue Blake Swihart

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BOSTON, MASSACHUSETTS - APRIL 11: Blake Swihart #23 of the Boston Red Sox runs to the dugout during the sixth inning of the Red Sox home opener against the Baltimore Orioles at Fenway Park on April 11, 2016 in Boston, Massachusetts. (Photo by Maddie Meyer/Getty Images)
BOSTON, MASSACHUSETTS - APRIL 11: Blake Swihart #23 of the Boston Red Sox runs to the dugout during the sixth inning of the Red Sox home opener against the Baltimore Orioles at Fenway Park on April 11, 2016 in Boston, Massachusetts. (Photo by Maddie Meyer/Getty Images) /
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The Washington Nationals could be in the market for a backup catcher after Matt Wieters’ surgery. However, they would be wise not to consider Blake Swihart.

It was announced on Thursday that Washington Nationals catcher Matt Wieters underwent surgery on his left hamstring. This could rule him out for a significant amount of time, so it puts the Nationals in the market for another catcher. One possible target for them is Blake Swihart.

The young utility man has requested a trade away from the Boston Red Sox. But the Nats would be wise to stay away from Swihart, given the price it’ll likely cost to get him.

With Pedro Severino performing at a high level in Wieters absence, he’s set to flourish in the comings weeks and months. So why rock the boat for someone who is clearly looking for more playing time?

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Swihart is still a good player, and would obviously be an upgrade on Spencer Kieboom.  In his only full season with the Red Sox, he hit .274 and had a .712 OPS. But his defense left a lot to be desired as he posted a -0.4 dWAR.

His defense at catcher has been so questionable, that the Sox have tried him out at other positions. This season alone he’s seen time at catcher, first base and left field.

When team’s are looking for a backup catcher, they’d much rather have a defensive-minded player than offensive-minded. This then ensures that even if they hit eighth in the line-up, they can still significantly help the team behind the plate. Swihart clearly doesn’t fit that mold.

The Red Sox will also likely be looking for a semi-decent prospect back in return for Blake Swihart. He is set to enter his first year of arbitration this year. So he seems a better fit for a near-contender with a longer term catching need, such as the Minnesota Twins who recently lost Jason Castro to injury.

The Nationals would be better off pursuing a veteran option to provide leadership and a solid glove as a compliment to Severino. Carlos Ruiz is currently a free agent and could fit as that option to help Severino grow.

Next: Predicting the Nats All-Stars

Although the Washington Nationals do now have a need at catcher, Blake Swihart likely isn’t the man to fill that void.

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