Nationals: Reliving the Miguel Montero signing debacle
Turning back the clock to the ill-advised signing of Miguel Montero by the Nationals.
The 2018 Washington Nationals found themselves in a similar predicament as the 2021 Nationals. There was a veteran catcher tabbed to be the starter, though the backup duties were going to have to be split with untested talents from the farm system.
In 2021 the Nationals chose to go with Alex Avila as opposed to Tres Barrera and in 2018 they chose to sign Miguel Montero rather than give the reins to Pedro Severino. Up until then, Severino had just 61 big league at-bats over the course of three years, while Montero was a two-time All-Star with twelve years under his belt.
An ironic twist prior to the Nationals signing Montero in February of 2018, was they were the team who ran wild against him as he caught for the Chicago Cubs in June the year earlier. After the game, Montero called out his pitcher for not giving him a chance, and was subsequently traded days later.
Montero would finish the year with the Toronto Blue Jays, hitting a meager .138 in 32 games. Yet, at age 34, the Nationals brought him in to back up Matt Wieters.
With Wieters on the shelf with an oblique injury, Severino and Montero shared the catching duties the first two weeks of the season. Severino played surprisingly well, Montero was awful as advertised.
By the time Wieters was ready to return, Severino was hitting .348 with an OPS of .935, in his limited duties, while Montero still had the goose egg for the season. Eleven hitless at-bats over the course of four games was all the former World Series Champion had to show for his time in DC. Severino would go on to hit .168 and lose his backup job to Spencer Kieboom.
Montero was kicked to the curb, released just two weeks into the season. That is where the transactions end for Montero, according to Baseball-Reference.com. His baseball playing days came to a close with an 0-the season as a member of the Washington Nationals.
Here’s hoping the 2021 version of the Nationals doesn’t mimic that of 2018.