WASHINGTON — The Nationals are reportedly still engaged with the White Sox in trade talks for closer David Robertson, but not without a catch(er).
The Nationals broke news Tuesday with their reported acquisition of catcher Matt Wieters, with the deal said to be for two years, $21 million, including a second-year opt-out.
Which means, after already re-acquiring Derek Norris in the offseason and with Pedro Severino waiting in the wings, the Nationals suddenly have an influx of talent at catcher.
With David Robertson still owed $25 million over the next two seasons, and the Nats in need of a closer, Chicago is looking to deal. According to Phil Rogers of MLB.com, they’d even be willing to eat part of Robertson’s remaining salary in exchange for the younger of the Nats’ catchers, 23-year-old Severino.
But the Nationals, according to Rogers, say they’d rather move Norris.
This all puts Norris, who would have presumably been Washington’s Opening Day catcher, in an awkward entanglement of interests.
Norris tells MASN’s Mark Zuckerman the Nats made him aware of the Wieters acquisition before he was able to catch wind of it on social media.
“Personally, I think anyone that’s a competitor wants to be in there every single day,” Norris said. “I’m always going to strive to better myself to help the team win. Whatever happens, happens. But as of right now, today, I’m going out and I want to start opening day and start every single day. Obviously that’s probably not going to be the way things pan out, but that’s the kind of player I am and always will be.”
On Monday, GM Mike Rizzo acknowledged the Nats have “plenty of closer candidates,” while adding the caveat “we just don’t have anybody with a lot of closing experience.”