Washington Nationals: Three options behind the plate

WASHINGTON, DC - SEPTEMBER 27: The Washington Nationals logo on the scoreboard after a baseball game against the New York Mets at Nationals Park on September 27, 2020 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Mitchell Layton/Getty Images)
WASHINGTON, DC - SEPTEMBER 27: The Washington Nationals logo on the scoreboard after a baseball game against the New York Mets at Nationals Park on September 27, 2020 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Mitchell Layton/Getty Images) /
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(Photo by Mark Brown/Getty Images)
(Photo by Mark Brown/Getty Images) /

With Kurt Suzuki hitting free agency, the Washington Nationals are in search of a second option at catcher behind Yan Gomes.

Following the conclusion of the 2020 campaign, the Washington Nationals were left with one major league catcher under contract: Yan Gomes. Nationals General Manager and President of Baseball Operations Mike Rizzo met with reporters via Zoom earlier this week.

According to Rizzo, the plan is for Gomes to remain the starting catcher in DC. While Gomes has performed on championship-caliber clubs during his time with the Cleveland Indians and with the Nationals, there remains a need. The 33-year-old has only appeared in 100+ games three times in his nine-year MLB career.

Kurt Suzuki has operated as Gomes’ counterpart for the past two seasons. Yet, it seems that Washington is looking to go in a new direction. Suzuki is 37-years-old and has always been more of an offensive threat behind the plate. In fact, Manager Davey Martinez has stated his desire to improve the majors’ worst defense in 2020 heading into next season. Given these factors, it’s safe to say that Suzuki won’t return for another contract in DC.

So, what’s next for the Nationals? Gomes enjoyed his second-highest career batting average last season, at a .284 mark. By all reports, Martinez and the Nats are confident in his offense behind the plate. Washington will look to add defensive help at catcher. With a J.T. Realmuto signing unlikely, and James McCann already locked up by the New York Mets, check out three potential catching options in Washington.