Nats sign catcher Montero to Minors deal

Veteran backstop also gets invite to Spring Training

February 1st, 2018

The Nationals have signed free-agent catcher to a Minor League deal that includes an invite to Spring Training, according to MLB.com's Jamal Collier.

Montero, 34, split the 2017 season between the Cubs and Blue Jays, appearing in 76 games, 51 of them starts. He will compete with for the Nationals' backup catcher job behind starter Matt Wieters.

Montero has ties to Washington general manager Mike Rizzo, who was the D-backs' director of scouting when Arizona signed Montero as a prep prospect out of Venezuela in 2001. He also played for new Nats manager Dave Martinez in Chicago, where Martinez was the bench coach on Joe Maddon's staff.

Montero started the 2017 season strong by batting .286 in 44 games with the Cubs, but he was designated for assignment and then traded to Toronto in July after criticizing pitcher for not holding runners after a game in which the Cubs allowed seven stolen bases. He batted .138 through 32 games with the Jays.