According to a team announcement, the Nationals have signed catcher Miguel Montero to a Minor League deal. Montero is invited to the Major League spring training, which indicates he will fight with young prospect Pedro Severino for the backup catcher spot behind veteran Matt Wieters.
Montero is a seasoned veteran at age 34. He has played in the MLB for twelve years. Last year, he was hot and cold, starting the season batting .286 while with the Cubs at the season’s start, but batting an abysmal .138 as the Blue Jays backup catcher.
If Montero can hit like he is capable of at times (he is a 2x all-star and bats .257 lifetime), he could even be competing for a starting spot, as Matt Wieters was easily the weakest part of the Nationals lineup last year. Wieters batted only .225, and more importantly, had a negative WAR. On the defensive side, where Wieters is supposed to shine, he made several costly errors in the playoffs last year.
As of now, it does not appear that Montero will take Wieters’ starting job, or is even guaranteed to be his backup instead of Severino, but at the least he will add some depth at catcher and a veteran presence around the clubhouse.