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Nationals sign former Orioles All-Star catcher Matt Wieters

Nationals sign former Orioles All-Star catcher Matt Wieters

The Washington Nationals have signed former Orioles All-Star catcher Matt Wieters to a one-year deal with a player option for a second year, according to multiple reports. 

Wieters spent the first eight years in the Majors with the Baltimore Orioles, being named to the AL All-Star team four times and winning two gold glove awards. Last season the switch-hitting catcher posted a .243 average with 17 homers and 66 RBI.  

The Nationals have been in the market for catchers all offseason after Wilson Ramos left for Tampa Bay in free agency. The team traded for former Padres catcher Derek Norris, whose role is now in question. The Nationals still have Jose Lobaton on the roster as a strong defensive backup catcher who has a proven rapport with many of the pitchers in the Nationals rotation. Wieters had been linked to the Nationals all offseason because of the team's need a the position and because of the Nationals close relationship with Wieters' agent Scott Boras. 

The only significant time that Wieters has missed due to injury in his career came in 2014-15 when he had Tommy John surgury. Prior to that surgury, however, Wieters had played in at least 130 games for four straight seasons and became a large part of the Orioles' identity. 

The 30-year-old backstop will give the Nationals lineup more depth and power. Wieters had three consecutive 20-homer seasons from 2011-13 and since 2009 when his career began, he ranks fifth among catchers in all of baseball in home runs with 117. 

Related: Nationals 2017 promotional schedule includes snow globes and fedoras

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2019 MLB Power Rankings: Week 5 update

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USA Today Sports Images

2019 MLB Power Rankings: Week 5 update

With the Capitals postseason run coming to a far-too-early end, D.C. area hockey fans may need a refresher on what’s going on in Major League Baseball. The focus is now shifting to America’s pastime, and the timing couldn’t be better.

Now that we’re coming up on a month into the 2019 MLB season, the standings are starting to paint a clearer picture. 

Sure, there are exceptions all over. No one expects the Red Sox to finish in fourth place in the AL East, and the Tigers are still playing way over their heads.

But for the most part, we’ve seen enough games played to at least start to consider believing in many of the trends we’ve seen to start the season.

CLICK HERE TO SEE THE UPDATED 2019 MLB POWER RANKINGS

The Rays have earned their place in the circle of trust, as they still sport the game’s best record and run differential. The new-look Cardinals and Phillies lineups have come together well, and the exciting Padres look like they’re here to stay.

On the other end of the spectrum, the Marlins, Royals and Orioles entered the year as the projected three worst teams in baseball. Through 25 games, they have three of the four worst records in the league (only the snakebitten Angels are worse than the Orioles).

It’s still too early to make sweeping judgments. There’s a reason the old adage points to Memorial Day as the first chance to truly evaluate most teams. But patterns have begun to emerge, and we can no longer look blindly past the struggles in Boston or the power in Seattle as purely flukes.

Outlier teams always regress back to the mean, but the idea of signature significance lends credence to teams on the extreme belonging there too.

With those caveats given, let’s wrap up the preamble and get to this week’s update on the 2019 MLB Power Rankings.

CLICK HERE TO SEE THE UPDATED 2019 MLB POWER RANKINGS

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Nationals Roundup: Manny Machado's Padres come to town for 3-game weekend set

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USA TODAY SPORTS

Nationals Roundup: Manny Machado's Padres come to town for 3-game weekend set

The Nationals (11-12) welcome Manny Machado and the NL East's San Diego Padres (14-11) to town for a 3-game set beginning Friday with a 7:05 p.m. ET first pitch from Nationals Park. 

Washington enters the weekend having lost two consecutive series on the road against Miami and Colorado, yet still sits just 1.5 games out of the first-place Mets and Phillies

Player Notes: 

NATIONALS:

Starting pitcher Anibal Sanchez (0-3) allowed six runs on nine hits over five innings Wednesday as the Nats fell to the Rockies in their rubber match, 9-5. He'll get another chance to get his first win of 2019 next Monday against the Cardinals. 

Anthony Rendon has been sidelined since Saturday when he was hit in the left elbow by a Jose Urena fastball. The early exit snapped his league-high 17-game hitting streak. Martinez said Rendon was available to pinch-hit Wednesday, which he did not. There does, however, seem to be optimism regarding Rendon's playing status for Friday. 

Victor Robles is putting consistent pressure on Davey Martinez to keep him at the top of his lineup. The 20-year-old has 11 extra-base hits in 85 plate apperances, and is batting .286. 

Trevor Rosenthal continues to struggle when called upon in the bullpen. In seven appearances this year, the 29-year-old has an ERA of 36.00. It certainly begs the question: how long can the Nationals afford to keep him on their roster? 

PADRES:

Starting pitcher Chris Paddack led San Diego to a 1-0 win over the Mariners Wednesday while tossing seven innings, striking out nine, and retiring the last 19 batters he faced. This marked the 23-year-old's first win in the big leagues. 

Veteran and first-year Padre Ian Kinsler crushed his 250th career home run for the game's lone run Wednesday. 

Through 23 games, Manny Machado is batting .241 with 9 RBI and 4 HRs. Check out this ridiculous defensive play at third from earlier this month. The 26-year-old signed his 10-year, $300 million contract with the team in March. 

Injuries:

3B Anthony Rendon: Elbow hit by pitch, day-to-day

RP Austen Williams: Shoulder, 10-day IL

RP Justin Miller: Back, 10-day IL

SS Trea Turner: Finger, 10-day IL

RP Koda Glover: Elbow, 10-day IL

Coming Up:

Saturday, 4/27: Padres @ Nationals, 4:05 p.m. ET, Nationals Park 

Sunday, 4/28: Padres @ Nationals, 1:35 p.m. ET, Nationals Park 

Monday, 4/29: Cardinals @ Nationals, 7:05 p.m. ET, Nationals Park 

Source: Rotoworld

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