No Rays for Wieters, who has $21M, two-year deal with Nats
UPDATE, 3:59: The Rays offer was for about $6-million guaranteed, with the chance with all incentives to get past $10-million. ... They are not expected to have interest in Derek Norris, who the Nats now will look to trade.
UPDATE, 12:39: The deal, confirmed by multiple sources, is for $21-million, per Fox Sports' Ken Rosenthal, with salaries of $10M in 2017 and $11M in 2018 unless he opts out.
DEVELOPING: The Rays' hopes of landing free-agent C Matt Wieters appear to have ended Tuesday with a report by Jon Heyman of FanRag Sports that the former Orioles All-Star is close to a deal with the Nationals.
The deal is said to be for two years, though with an opt-out after the first.
The Rays made an offer to land Wieters, pitching a one-year deal that gave him the opportunity to rebuild his value for another run at free agency in 2018. They knew they were not in position to offer the most money, just what they positioned as the a prime opportunity - to be their everyday catcher, stay in the AL East and closer to his Atlanta home, and work with their talented pitching staff.
Agent Scott Boras has been known to take players deep into the spring when necessary, and has an extensive working relationship with the Nats so it will be interesting to see what the contract is worth.
Having signed free-agent Derek Norris, the Nats now could be in positon to trade backup Jose Lobaton, the former Ray.
The Rays earlier this off-season signed former Nationals C Wilson Ramos to a two-year deal, knowing he is coming off major knee surgery and expected to miss at least the first couple months of this season, and likely will return first as a DH.