WASHINGTON — They weren’t the splashiest moves, but the Washington Nationals went a long way towards addressing depth this week, announcing the signings of both catcher Miguel Montero and infielder Reid Brignac.
Montero has experience with both Mike Rizzo, who scouted and helped draft him with the Arizona Diamondbacks, and Dave Martinez, who coached him with the Cubs in Chicago.
Fans may remember that Montero’s time in Chicago ended on a sour note after the fleet-of-foot Nationals stole seven bases on Montero in the first four innings of a start last June. Montero was visibly upset at the time and sounded off in the clubhouse after the game, telling the media that Arrieta, who is notoriously slow to the plate, didn’t give him a chance.
He was right. But he was criticizing the club’s ace and former Cy Young winner. Guess who won that battle?
The Cubs cut ties with Montero and he eventually caught on with the Toronto Blue Jays before hitting free agency this offseason.
While Montero is no threat to overtake Matt Wieters as the team’s top backstop, he could push Pedro Severino for the backup job.
Brignac, on the other hand, represents a long-shot to make the roster but could provide quality organizational depth if he’s willing to stick around on a minor league deal.
The light-hitting utility player has bounced around in recent years, playing for six teams, including three others in the National League East. During that span, he has played every infield position except catcher and first base, and every outfield position except center field.
Brignac could challenge Wilmer Difo and Adrian Sanchez for consideration for middle infield depth.