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12/22/2004 1:52 PM ET
Nationals agree to terms on 2005 contract with catcher Brian Schneider
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The Washington Nationals today agreed to terms on a 2005 contract with catcher Brian Schneider, thus avoiding arbitration. Nationals General Manager Jim Bowden made the announcement from the club's Spring Training complex in Viera, FL.

Schneider, 28, is a career .252 hitter with 27 home runs and 141 RBI in 388 games spanning parts of five seasons with the Montreal Expos. Schneider hit .257 while recording career-highs with 12 home runs, 49 RBI and 135 games for the Expos in 2004, his first season as the club's every-day catcher.

Schneider, who doubles as the Expos' Major League Baseball Players Association rep, led all big league catchers by gunning down 47.8 percent of would-be basestealers in 2004. He also led all catchers in the same category in 2003 by throwing out 46.7 percent of would-be basestealers. One of Baseball's top defensive catchers, Schneider's error on September 7, 2004 at Chicago (NL) was his first in more than a year, or 167 big league games since July 2, 2003.

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