Cards sign Matt Wieters to add 'competition and depth' at catcher

Wieters is expected to compete for the backup role with Francisco Pena who held the job last year

February 27, 2019 - 10:45 am

JUPITER, Fla. (KMOX) - Four-time All-Star catcher Matt Wieters is expected to join the St. Louis Cardinals for spring training on Wednesday after being signed to a minor-league contract. He's there to create "depth and competition" in camp for the backup role to Yadier Molina on the 2019 opening day roster. 

Washington Nationals catcher Matt Wieters
(Jeff Curry-USA TODAY Sports)
Manager Mike Shildt spoke about the move Wednesday morning at Roger Dean Chevrolet Stadium and said he already had a conversation with Francisco Pena, who was Molina's backup last year and was resigned this offseason. Shildt says Pena "embraces the competition" and was told after Tuesday's game in which he was 2-3 at the plate with two RBI.

Shildt says his 2019 roster will still only have two catchers on it and says Wieter's switch-hitting ability could be a factor since the Cardinals are looking for another left-handed bat off the bench. 

You can listen to his full comments here:

Pena and Joe Hudson are the only other catcher in Cardinals spring training with MLB experience, then there St. Louis' No. 3 overall prospect in catcher Andrew Knizner who is expected to begin his 2019 in Memphis.

Wieters played in 76 games last year with the Washington Nationals, hitting .238/.330/.374 with eight home runs and a .704 OPS.