The Washington Nationals made their first big splash in the trade market on Monday, acquiring Kelvin Herrera. Now they should address their need at catcher.
After acquiring Kansas City Royals closer Kelvin Herrera on Monday night, the Washington Nationals have signaled their intent this season. Now it’s time for Mike Rizzo to divert attention to other needs.
In recent weeks, the offense has gone completely missing for the Nationals. They’ve been shut out four times in their last nine games, and averaging just 3 runs in that span. So it’s pretty clear that they need a bat moving forward.
The most glaring need on that front right now is a catcher, a black hole on offense all season. Their catchers are hitting just .193 in 2018, the fourth lowest in baseball, and second worst in the National League.
Matt Wieters has been nothing short of a disappointment since signing with the team in spring of 2017. In 146 games for the team, he’s hitting a mere .226 with OPS+ of 86. That means a fair way below the average major league hitter, who would have an OPS+ of 100.
Pedro Severino had a strong showing when he was initially recalled, but has fallen back to his norm. He possesses a .184 average on the year, and while he won’t keep being that bad, he’s always profiled as a defense-first catcher. One that’s ideally suited to be a really good major league backup.
So, what can Mike Rizzo and Nationals do about this?
Thankfully, with the way certain team’s seasons have played out, there are quite a few above-average catchers available. We take a look at who could be considered a realistic target for the Nationals in the coming weeks, as the trade deadline gradually gets closer.