Presumed Plan : The Nats will once again pencil Wilson Ramos in as the full-time starter. They will fill in the back-up role with whatever junk they can find.
Reasoning on Presumed Plan : Wilson Ramos has been the "next" starter since the year after being acquired. However a rash of injuries (torn ACL in 2012, hamstring issues in 2013) has limited him to just over 100 games in the past two years. When he has been healthy he has performed well enough offensively (.269 / .327 / .449 over past 3 seasons) to put himself in mix of the Top 10 hitting catchers. There's also potential there (.354 OBP last year, .470 SLG this year) for something special if it all comes together in the same year. His defense can be erratic but is generally viewed favorably. He is entering arbitation this year which will put him in line for a raise but he will still be cheap in relation to how much he should be paid. All in all, if you can look past the injury issue, it's a no-brainer to make Wilson the starter.
As for the back-up decision, finding a good back-up catcher is hard. Here are some of the lines put up by guys that got over 150 ABs this year. Hanigan .198 / .306 / .261, Mathis .181 / .251 / .284, Phegly .206 / .223 / .299, Maldanado .169 / .236 / .284. Given how little production you get, the difference between spending a little and spending nothing is virtually non-existant. So why spend anything? If you can find a lefty bat to complement Ramos who's a good defender well that's good enough right?
Problems with Presumed Plan : Wilson Ramos has played just over 100 games the past 2 years. As injury risks go, he's near the top. If he remains healthy, things work; if he doesn't, things fall apart fast. You see those terrible lines up there? Jhonaton Solano, the most likely internal solution, would kill to hit that well. .146 / .180 / .188 this year. Outside of last years minor bench role (EVERYONE hit last year) he's shown no proclivity to hit well even in the minors. Sandy Leon is a bit more promising, if only because of his age (25 next year - Solano will turn 29 in August of next season) but last year's performance at the plate makes 2012's look like a fluke rather than a revelation. If the Nats go with the usual plan and Ramos goes down they could be looking at a huge gaping hole in the lineup.
My take : I think the presumed plan can work, if Rizzo is willing to act quickly if Ramos goes down. Why spend money on a guy that may never play? Of course, Rizzo has shown no such ability to make these kinds of in-season moves. Therefore I think it's worthwhile to spend money on the best possible back-up the Nats can get.
Who is that exactly? Probably Geovany Soto (.245 / .328 / .466 - 31). The better ones (Salty, McCann, Navarro, Pierzynski) are likely to get starting gigs. Carlos Ruiz would like to return to Philly and they'd like to have him. That leaves us in an area with John Buck (older, not as good a hitter), Humberto Quintero (older, really not as good a hitter), and Ramon Hernandez (really older, might be done). I suppose you could look at Brayan Pena, as he switch hits with some level of skill, but he might be turning into a mess behind the plate after years of average play. And of course there is always bringing Suzuki back, but I see a guy on the way out.
So that's what I would do. Ramos starter, Soto back-up, if possible.
Outside the Box Suggestion : There really isn't a good outside the box suggestion here that keeps Ramos on the team. You don't move young cheap catchers to other positions. However how about this : Trade Ramos. As a young cheap catcher he is a fairly wanted commodity. Put him in a package for David Price and then sign Brain McCann weaking your main rival and bringing in the best choice for production the next couple of years. Sure he's an injury risk but you were willing to start Ramos who's a bigger one, right? Win now. Let the team disintegrate in 2016.