Wil Nieves
Wil Nieves
41-Year-Old CatcherC
 Free Agent  
Free Agent
2018 Fantasy Outlook
There was no outlook written for Wil Nieves in 2018. Check out the latest news below for more on his current fantasy value.
$Agreed to a minor league contract with the Braves in May of 2015.
CFree Agent  
June 15, 2015
Nieves was released by the Braves on Monday, Kevin McAlpin of 680 The Fan reports.
ANALYSIS
After collecting one hit with the Padres in 13 at-bats, Nieves was snagged by the Braves, who sent him to Triple-A Gwinnett. While he was serviceable there, hitting .238 in 21 games, the team chose to cut him loose. He will look to sign with a new team in the coming days.
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Nieves hit just .254/.270/.344 with one home run in 122 at-bats with the Phillies last season. An untimely quad injury cost him a chance at additional at-bats while Carlos Ruiz was sidelined with a concussion. Despite his struggles last season, he is a solid backup that is capable of producing reasonable numbers when needed to step in for a starter. Nieves should be able to find a backup gig with another club this offseason, with the Phillies likely to move on as they start to retool their roster.
In a backup role in 2013, Nieves played very well. He had plenty of playing time while Miguel Montero was hurt to prove himself and he did so, posting a .297 average as a temporary starter. He was so effective for extended stretches that many in Arizona clamored for a permanent promotion over the struggling Montero. Nieves signed a one-year deal with the Phillies in December, where he will serve as the backup to Carlos Ruiz.
Now 35, Nieves should be positioned to work as a backup catcher again in 2013. Although he hit well in a very small sample with the Rockies and D-Backs last season, the career .229/.274/.301 line is a better indication of what he's likely to do at the plate, and his value comes entirely from his work with the pitching staff. If Nieves breaks camp as Arizona's backup behind Miguel Montero, he'll likely see something in the neighborhood of 15-20 starts over the course of the season as Montero is one of the league's workhorses behind the plate capable of starting 140-plus games on his own.
As cheap backup catcher options go, a team could do worse than Nieves, but not by much. After being let go by the Nats, the Brewers brought him in to compete with George Kottaras for the backup job during spring training. Assuming staff management and defense trump a more serviceable bat, Nieves should have the inside track for that role.
Nieves' abilities got stretched to the limit in 2009 when Jesus Flores went down and he found himself in a timeshare with Josh Bard. He'll never be mistaken for an offensive threat, but Nieves is a solid catch-and-throw guy. However, his playing time looks less certain this season with the Nationals signing Ivan Rodriguez and Flores due back at some point from a shoulder injury.
Nieves posted his usual weak line at the plate, but his defense and a couple of timely hits (including his first big league home run) may have earned him a nice gig as Jesus Flores' backup for a couple of seasons.
As a reserve catcher in New York, handling Randy Johnson or another one of the club's more challenging starting arms is far more important in holding down the job than having a big bat. Nieves has appeared in just nine games for the Yankees over the past two seasons, his future will be elsewhere if he doesn't impress the right people during spring training.
Nieves showed enough at Triple-A Columbus to convince the Yankees he could be a capable backup if one of their catchers went down. He doesn't have any power in his bat, however, and isn't likely to make any kind of major league impact.
Nieves spent 2003 in Triple-A, and his only major league experience came during a brief midseason call-up to replace the Wiki Gonzalez in 2002. With the brothers Molina holding down the catching duties, don't expect Nieves to see the light of day in 2004.
Nieves looked overmatched in a midseason call-up to replace the injured Wiki Gonzalez in 2002. He recorded only four hits in 31 August ABs (.129 BA) after scalding the ball in AAA Portland to start the season. Nieves has yet to master the rare and mysterious skill of taking a pitch -- and eventually a walk.
More Fantasy News
CAtlanta Braves  
May 13, 2015
Nieves signed a minor league contract with the Braves on Wednesday, Mark Bowman of MLB.com reports.
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Wil Nieves: Elects Free Agency
CFree Agent  
May 11, 2015
Nieves cleared outright waivers and elected free agency, Corey Brock of MLB.com reports.
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CSan Diego Padres  
May 3, 2015
Nieves may be designated for assignment Monday, the San Diego Union-Tribune reports.
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CSan Diego Padres  
April 5, 2015
Nieves was added to the 25-man roster as the backup catcher to Derek Norris, the San Diego Union-Tribune reports.
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CSan Diego Padres  
March 31, 2015
Nieves received a $100K retention bonus from the Padres on Tuesday, allowing the team to wait until Sunday to decide whether or not it will carry him on the Opening Day roster, the Union-Tribune reports.
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