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Nationals talking to Rays about Jose Lobaton

Feb 6, 2014, 10:15 AM EDT

Jose Lobaton AP

Washington’s spring training roster is packed with catchers, including starter Wilson Ramos and six backup options to evaluate, but apparently the Nationals are still looking for another backstop.

Bill Ladson of MLB.com reports that the Nationals are talking to the Rays about trading for Jose Lobaton, who became expendable in Tampa Bay following the addition of Ryan Hanigan.

Lobaton has been linked to several different teams since it became clear the Rays were trying to move him and Ladson says the Nationals have been working on a potential deal for a month now.

Last season Lobaton hit .249 with seven homers and a .714 OPS in a part-time role and the 29-year-old is a career .228 hitter with a .654 OPS.

  1. raysfan1 - Feb 6, 2014 at 10:27 AM

    If the Nats do pull the trigger on a trade, it certainly makes one wonder about their confidence level in those “six backup options to evaluate.”

    • emdash01 - Feb 6, 2014 at 11:14 AM

      Yeah, it can’t possibly be very high. Sandy Leon might have some upside, and Chris Snyder is a very good pitch framer, but that’s about all you can say about the group. Their only other options are a AAAA player in Solano and dumpster-diving non-roster invites. Which is fine if you have a durable catcher, but that hasn’t been the case for the Nationals so far – I have some hope this could be the year for Ramos to actually play a full season, but it’s hard to count on that. So that’s definitely a position to worry about for them.

    • karlkolchak - Feb 6, 2014 at 11:21 AM

      As a Nats fan, I have no confidence in them. The team’s best catching prospect is slated to play High A ball this year and is too raw to help them right now.

      • simalex - Feb 6, 2014 at 2:30 PM

        you have no confidence in the group that brought us strasberg, harper, and absolutely fleeced the tigers for doug fister? i mean i agree the current options are not ideal but i think one should have confidence that rizzo et al will find some kind of solution.

      • raysfan1 - Feb 6, 2014 at 9:09 PM

        I think “no confidence in them” refers only to the six potential backup catchers expected in camp, none of us mentioned the Nats front office other than to question the front office personnel’s own confidence in those six if they decide they need to trade for Lobaton.

  2. unclemosesgreen - Feb 6, 2014 at 10:44 AM

    Jennifer Lopez has a song about this guy.

  3. spudchukar - Feb 6, 2014 at 10:56 AM

    The Rays will just wait until the Nats acquiesce to their demands.

  4. natstowngreg - Feb 6, 2014 at 1:12 PM

    Good that Rizzo is pursuing someone better than Chris Snyder or Koyie Hill. I didn’t really believe he would try to get by with Solano or a Spring Training invitee.

    At this point, the Nats’ bench:
    TBD, catcher (Lobaton, if they get him)
    Tyler Moore, 1B/corner OF/RH pinch-hitter (or, a veteran corner INF, with Moore in Syracuse)
    TBD, utility infeilder (Danny Espinosa, Jamey Carroll or Mike Fontenot)
    Nate McLouth, OF/LH pinch-hitter
    Scott Hairston, OF/RH pinch-hitter

    Rizzo may yet sign a corner inforlder, which would move Moore back to Syracuse. Not a bench to get excited about, but not as bad as last season’s.

    • natstowngreg - Feb 6, 2014 at 7:49 PM

      After all, you never know when you’ll need a corner inforlder.

      But you always need an edit function.

  5. regulatedmilitia - Feb 6, 2014 at 5:51 PM

    Friedman probably wants your top 3 pitching prospects. The guy has a set.

  6. dirtyharry1971 - Feb 6, 2014 at 8:44 PM

    I heard not only are the jays not talking to anyone but if you call the front office right now nobody answers the phone either but instead you get a voice message that says “Hi this is AA if you want to talk to us about making a deal that involves us taking on any kind of salary over 2 MIL, forget about it we are BROKE!! Thanks, maybe next year if business picks up but don’t hold your breath” BEEP

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