Free agent C Matt Wieters is close to signing what will likely be a two-year deal with the Nationals that contains an opt-out after the first year, reports Jon Heyman of FanRag Sports.
The deal will be worth $21 million, with $10 million paid in 2017, according to Ken Rosenthal of Fox Sports.
Wieters, 30, hit .243 with a .302 OBP and .409 SLG with 17 HR and 66 RBI in 124 games last season for the Orioles.
Mets GM Sandy Alderson had repeatedly said during the offseason that Travis d'Arnaud, Rene Rivera, and Kevin Plawecki will be his catchers in 2017.
According to MLB.com's StatCast expert Mike Petriello, d'Arnaud projects to be as good or better than Wieters in 2017.
"Ultimately, it's going to come down to health for d'Arnaud, as it always does, because the Mets are betting on upside," he explains. "With Wieters, you could spend millions and be reasonably sure you'd have a competent veteran catcher, but with little chance of a breakout, as his performance has not kept up with his name value or his salary demands."
"With d'Arnaud," he continues, "there's still the chance he'll have that big season we've seen flashes of. It might not be the popular choice, but it's an easily defensible one."
Personally, I prefer d'Arnaud. I believe he can realize his potential, which he showed in 60 or so games during 2015. It's still possible -- catchers are notorious for developing late and he's still only 28 years old. That said, I understand why people will be attracted to Wieters, who is just two years older than d'Arnaud. Wieters is a four-time All-Star, he's won multiple Silver Slugger and Gold Glove awards and -- more important -- he's looking for a job and flirting with the Nationals >> Read more from Jan. 25.