AP source: Matt Wieters, Nationals agree, pending physical

Posted at 4:52 PM, Feb 21, 2017
and last updated 2017-02-21 16:52:36-05

Free-agent catcher Matt Wieters and the Washington Nationals have an agreement in principle on a $10.5 million contract for 2017, pending a physical, according to a person familiar with the deal.

The contract also includes a player option for 2018 worth $10.5 million, the person said, speaking to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity on Tuesday because nothing had been announced yet.

Wieters is a four-time All-Star who has played his entire career with the Baltimore Orioles after being taken with the No. 5 overall pick in the 2007 amateur draft.

The defending NL East champion Nationals had opened spring training -- the first official full-squad workout was Sunday -- with Derek Norris, who batted .186 for the San Diego Padres last season, penciled in as their starting catcher. Wilson Ramos, an All-Star in 2016, left Washington as a free agent, signing with the Tampa Bay Rays.

Wieters, 30, is a switch-hitter known for his ability to work with a pitching staff. He has a .256 career batting average with 117 homers and 437 RBIs over eight seasons.

Last year, Wieters hit .244 with 17 homers and 66 RBIs in 124 games, playing on a $15.8 million qualifying offer. He was not given a $17.2 million qualifying offer this offseason by the Orioles and became a free agent.

Download the ABC2 News app for the iPhone, Kindle and Android