A Reliable Backstop
The Nationals have holes all over the field, and another huge improvement would be the presence of catcher, James McCann. Over the past two seasons, McCann has drastically improved at the plate, while continuing to deliver steady defense in the field. This past season he split time with Yasmani Grandal and hit .289, with seven homers, 15 RBIs, and an OPS of .896. Behind the plate, he had 5 defensive runs saved (DRS) and a framerate (FRM) of 2.3 in 30 games. McCann would take over for Kurt Suzuki as the primary offensive force behind the plate and platoon with Yan Gomes. The Phillies J.T. Reamulto will be the top catcher on the open market and for good reason. But while teams are pursuing him, Washington should chase McCann as he will cost far less while still providing plenty of upside. MLB Trade Rumors projects he signs a two-year deal worth $20 million.
If the Nationals miss out on McCann, the catcher market is very thin. Yadier Molina would be the best available, but he is 38 and no longer the player he once was. Mike Zunino and Wilson Ramos stand out, but each have their own flaws. Washington could always bring back Kurt Suzuki for one last hurrah, but the team will be looking for an upgrade defensively.