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 Hannah Foslien/Getty Images)
(Photo by Hannah Foslien/Getty Images) /

Alex Avila

For the sake of truly exploring this barren free-agent catcher market, here’s one option the Washington Nationals could pursue that won’t necessarily solve the defensive issues. Alex Avila hit free agency after appearing in 23 games for the Minnesota Twins last season.

The 33-year-old owns 12 years of MLB experience with 104 home runs and 388 RBIs. Avila has never won a Gold Glove Award and his career fielding percentage behind is the plate is .995. This isn’t a great solution, by any means. Avila projects simply as average on both offense and defense.

Presenting Avila as a catching option for the Nationals is more a testament to the lack of valuable targets in this free-agent class. At best, Avila is a true backup to Gomes and less of a tandem pairing.

Last season, Avila hit .184/.355/.286 with one home run and two RBIs. He’s always been pretty decent at getting on-base, owning a career-OBP of .348. He also only threw out 27 percent of runners last season.

Next. Three free agents for Nats to target. dark

This option only works if Washington is comfortable with Gomes taking over complete full-time catching duties. The Washington Nationals should avoid using Avila at catcher in more than 50-60 games of a full-162 game season if he’s the only remaining option in free agency.