Who didn’t expect this? Matt Wieters to the Nationals? Come on. Boras-Lerner-Rizzo-Yes.

Once Matt Wieters became an unrestricted free agent this off-season he was linked to the Washington Nationals mainly for the Boras connection as Matt Wieters agent is Scott Boras.

What was worrisome were Wieters’ statistics with the large drop-off in the second half of the 2016 season at a .227/.294/.399/.693 slash after a .728 OPS in the first half, but then factor in his road stats away from the hitter-friendly confines of Camden Yards where Wieters slugging (power) percentage dipped by 65 points, you have a recipe that might not work at all in Nationals Park.

The good news is that Wieters is a clear upgrade over Jose Lobaton and could form a platoon with Derek Norris who lifetime has an all-star slash against left-handed pitchers of .276/ .353/ .453/ .806 which begins to make a lot of sense if Rizzo would consider a platoon.

A silver lining of sorts was that Wieters reversed his career trends and as a switch-hitter had a resurgence against right-handed pitchers in 2016 with much more power. Clearly in sample sizes that you get for one season, Wieters of course got more at-bats against right-handed pitchers and had 14 home runs against righties versus 3 home runs against left-handed pitchers. Wieter’s 2016 OPS against right-handed pitchers was a healthy 82 points higher and that is what you look to when thinking about this signing working as the sum of all parts exceeding the whole.

If a strict platoon was used, a Wieters/Norris platoon could put up numbers near what Ramos put up last season. There is no telling what Mike Rizzo has planned as he has never been a proponent in the past of platoons. On the other hand, Dusty Baker with the Cincinnati Reds had a platoon in left field.

The other notes that should be mentioned is Wieters had Tommy-John surgery to repair the ulnar collateral ligament in his right throwing elbow.  The other note of record is that the Nationals 40-man roster is full and a signing of Wieters will need to be accompanied by a corresponding DFA/Trade to free up a spot.

The proposed deal with Wieters is 2-years with an opt-out clause.

The newest rumor is $10.5 million for each season with an opt-out and $5 million deferred.

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