Rizzo has 'difficult' talk with Norris about Wieters

Nationals GM likes depth at catcher, feels Scherzer will be ready by Opening Day

Rizzo has 'difficult' talk with Norris about Wieters

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. -- Nationals general manager Mike Rizzo had a long conversation with Derek Norris, whom he selected in the fourth round of the 2007 Draft, traded away in December 2011 and then re-acquired last December with the idea that he would be his starting catcher this season. However, Rizzo wanted to tell Norris that the team was closing in on signing free-agent catcher Matt Wieters, a deal that was completed Friday morning.

"It's a difficult conversation to have, but it's part of the business and Derek knows that," Rizzo said. "We have a good, long relationship with him so that helped."

With the addition of Wieters, the Nationals now have six catchers on their 40-man roster -- Wieters, Norris, Jose Lobaton, Pedro Severino, Spencer Kieboom and Raudy Read.

Wieters on joining Nationals

"Well, we've got a lot of depth and that's a good thing to have," Rizzo said. "Catching's difficult to find, and quality catchers are extremely valuable in an organization. We think we've got a good surplus and depth at that position."

Nats notes
• Rizzo said he is confident Max Scherzer, who has a stress fracture in his right ring finger, will be ready for Opening Day.

• Rizzo declined to comment on whether the Nationals were working out a possible extension with manager Dusty Baker, but did offer his support for the Nats skipper.

"It's not going to be a distraction," Rizzo said. "Dusty Baker's got a reputation and an aura that precedes any length of contracts. He's our manager. He's a great manager, one of the best in the game. And with his energy and the way he's feeling, he's capable of managing well beyond this season."

• And whether the Nats were still in the market for a closer: "Nothing's changed. We like the group of guys that we have in camp. And we're looking forward to having one of them step up and take that late-inning job."

Jamal Collier covers the Nationals for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter at @jamalcollier. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.