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Nats sign catcher Montero to Minors deal

Veteran backstop also gets invite to Spring Training
MLB.com

The Nationals have signed free-agent catcher Miguel Montero 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 Pedro Severino for the Nationals' backup catcher job behind starter Matt Wieters.

The Nationals have signed free-agent catcher Miguel Montero 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 Pedro Severino 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 Jake Arrieta for not holding runners after a game in which the Cubs allowed seven stolen bases. He batted .138 through 32 games with the Jays.

Chad Thornburg is a reporter for MLB.com based in Los Angeles.

Washington Nationals, Miguel Montero