Lo Duca no longer option for Jays
Former Mets backstop reaches one-year deal with Nationals
TORONTO -- The Blue Jays' pitch wasn't enough to land Paul Lo Duca. On Monday, the free-agent catcher agreed to terms on a one-year contract with the Washington Nationals, according to a baseball official.
The deal, which isn't expected to be announced until after Lo Duca passes a physical, comes after Toronto approached the catcher with a similar one-year offer during the Winter Meetings in Nasvhille, Tenn., last week. The Jays' offer was reportedly worth $3 million.
With the Jays, Lo Duca would've entered into a split role with Gregg Zaun, who signed a two-year deal to be Toronto's everday catcher last offseason. Lo Duca projects to be the everyday catcher for Washington, which also wanted to find a veteran to help in backup Jesus Flores' development.
Toronto didn't want to offer a two-year contract to the 34-year-old Lo Duca, who hit .272 with nine home runs and 54 RBIs last season for the Mets, because the Jays have young catchers Robinzon Diaz and Curtis Thigpen close to being big league ready. Now, the Jays will continue their search for a one-year solution for the backup catcher role.
One possibility continues to be veteran Sal Fasano, who split time between Toronto and Triple-A Syracuse last season. Blue Jays general manager J.P. Ricciardi has discussed the possibility of re-signing Fasano, which would bide time until Diaz is hopefully ready for a call to the Jays in June or July.
Jordan Bastian is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.