Matt Wieters is headed to the Washington Nationals on a two year deal (with an opt-out after one) to become the starting catcher. This move seems to sure up on the only spot in their everyday starting line-up that had a glaring hole.
Barry Svrluga of the Washington Post points out that the move is more than baseball, as the ownership groups of the Orioles and Nationals are “embroiled in a legal fight, one in which the Nationals believe the Orioles are denying them a fair share of the revenue generated by the Mid-Atlantic Sports Network.”
While the legal case is yet to be determined, the message that the Wieters move sends throughout baseball is clear. The Nationals believe that their window to win is relatively short, and that Wieters is an essential piece for this club to compete over the next two years.
In Arizona, the Chicago White Sox and new manager Rick Renteria are enjoying the fruits of their off-season trades. Young studs like Yoan Moncada, Reynaldo Lopez, Michael Kopech and Lucas Giolito are all reportedly turning heads at camp. While these are all higher profile players, Renteria reminded the news media yesterday about Zack Burdi, the club’s 2016 First Round Pick.
It is hard to believe, but a former first round pick seems to be flying under the radar. Burdi, a 21-year-old right handed reliever, went from Class A to AAA last season in dominating fashion. Throughout the year, Burdi struck out 51 in 38 innings and only allowed 3 HR’s. Expect to see Burdi in the Sox ‘pen at some point in 2017.
The White Sox are in full rebuild mode, and it seems that they had an incredible off season. I would not be surprised if Joe Quintana and David Robertson are moved before too long.