ESPN’s Jayson Stark reports that the Nationals are still interested in free agent catcher Matt Wieters, but adds that it’s doubtful they’d commit to him beyond one year.
Wieters, 30, finished last season hitting .243/.302/.409 with 17 home runs and 66 RBI in 464 plate appearances. He’s the top free agent catcher remaining.
The Nationals currently have Derek Norris and Jose Lobaton as well as Pedro Severino behind the dish, so the team isn’t under any pressure to add a catcher. The Rays have also been listed as an interested team and adding Wieters would allow them to bring Wilson Ramos back from his injury at a reasonable pace rather than rushing him back. The Astros were floated as a potential destination last month, but that seems unlikely given their current catching corps of Brian McCann and Evan Gattis.
Phillies starter Jerad Eickhoff hasn’t pitched in the majors yet this season as he suffered a lat injury in mid-March and has been on the disabled list since. He started a rehab stint in the minors last week, making a start for Double-A Reading on May 15 and another start for Triple-A Lehigh Valley on Sunday.
Meghan Montemurro of The Athletic reports that Eickhoff went a twinge in the fingertips of his right index and middle fingers late in Sunday’s outing after throwing a curve and on the subsequent pitch. The Phillies have paused Eickhoff’s rehab as a result and will evaluate him further.
Eickhoff went on the disabled list in late August last year due to nerve irritation in his right hand, so this latest setback could be related to that.
Eickhoff showed promise early in his career, posting a combined 3.44 ERA in 41 starts between 2015-16. He struggled to a 4.71 ERA last year before ending his season early with the nerve issue. Eickhoff was one of the many prospects the Phillies got from the Rangers in the Cole Hamels trade.