Matt Wieters has finally found a new team. An accident turned free agency for the catcher into a disaster. Wieters cut his wrist when a five-gallon water container made of glass broke on November 1 while he was in his garage.
That delayed his preparations for the offseason and the chance for him to sign a more lucrative deal.
Wieters on Friday explained to reporters that it was difficult finding a club, when you are unable to do anything related to baseball.
The catcher ran sprints for conditioning and took batting practice on Friday in a Washington Nationals uniform after the team announced it had signed him.
Wieters agreed to a two-year $21 million deal and he can terminate the contract and become a free agent after the first season. The deal included deferred salary of $2.5 million for each of the two years.
Now the catcher can work on becoming familiar with the Nationals pitching staff. The reigning National League East champion Nationals open their exhibition season on Saturday versus the New York Mets.
Wieters said there was plenty of time for him to get ready even though it would be better if he had more.
The Nationals clubhouse is filled with catchers this spring. Pedro Severino and Jose Lobaton played last season with Washington and the Nationals traded for Derek Norris with San Diego. Six catchers make up the current roster of 40 players.
Mike Rizzo the general manager of the Nationals called Wieters a leader on both the field and in the clubhouse for Baltimore, the only team in the majors the All-Star had played for prior to signing with Washington.
Strop Staying Put
Pedro Strop a reliever for the Chicago Cubs extended a contract with the Cubs through 2018, which includes a 2019 club option.
Strop in early February agreed to a one year deal for $5.5 million, but this new deal calls for a salary of $5.85 million for 2018 and a club option for $6.25 million in 2019.
If that option by the team is exercised, Strop could earn performance bonuses of $750,000 in 2019.
Last year in his 54 appearances with the Cubs, Strop was 2-2 with an ERA of 2.85. The Cubs acquired Strop and Jake Arrieta in July 2013 in the same trade with Baltimore.