Out of all of the bases to cover during the winter, General Manager has covered arguably the most important one: home plate.
The Washington Nationals made a trade today, acquiring catcher Jose Lobaton and two prospects for reliever Nate Karns. It is evident that Lobaton will be the backup to Wilson Ramos, but should Ramos’ injury history catch up to him, the Nats appear quite ready to fill his spot. ComCast SportsNet’s Mark Zuckerman listened as Rizzo spoke about his new acquisition.
Although Wilson is clearly our number one catcher, we certainly want him to be available throughout the whole season. And [Lobaton] is a capable backup in case something does happen to Wilson.
Rizzo flat out said he wanted Lobaton behind the plate for his pitch-framing skills. It’s possible that Lobaton picked up a trick or two from Rays’ starting catcher Jose Molina, widely regarded as one of the best pitch framers in the game. Wilson Ramos would like to catch 130-games, but it would appear that with the acquisition of Lobaton, Ramos will catch more around the league average of 100-110.