The Curious Case of Matt Wieters

Wieters Orioles mask upThe Orioles face a very interesting dilemma this offseason as they have to decide if they want to make a qualifying offer to Matt Wieters.  Wieters, who is coming off Tommy John surgery, has suffered through several injuries the past few seasons, which make judging his future performance even more difficult than usual.  His QO is for 15.8 million, and the Orioles are already pretty happy with their other two catchers, Caleb Joseph, and Steve Clevenger, both of whom had pretty decent seasons last year.  Clearly there isn’t enough room on the roster to carry three catchers all season, even if you convert one to full time DH.  The Orioles seem to be content letting Wieters go, but obviously want to get the draft pick the QO offers.  However team officials seem to be concerned he may take the QO, which would eat up a significant portion of the team’s budget for a unproven player in a position that is already overflowing.  It should be noted that Wieters is represented by Super Agent and Notorious Pain in the Ass Scott Boras, so many think Wieters would reject the QO and go to free agency as is customary procedure for any Boras client.  So what do you do?  Either decision seems like a gamble, and the last thing the O’s want is for Wieters to walk while the team gets absolutely nothing in return for a player that was once destined to bring legitimacy back to a franchise that spent too long in the gutter of the American League East.

  • The confusing nature of evaluating what his performance will be when coming back fully healthy from the elbow surgery. Wieters looked his best at the beginning of 2014 when the incident took him down, but varied offensive categories still do leave much to be desired.

  • Wieters has far more pop for the catcher position than is commonly available, and this brings value.

  • While having a good career average for throwing out base stealers, he is not as well-rated in terms of pitch framing and pitch-by-pitch metrics as one might expect.

  • The fear for the Baltimore Orioles is that Wieters might indeed be the first to accept the qualifying offer, which is of course balanced by the fear of losing the draft pick if they do not make it and he signs elsewhere.

  • The presumption is that no Scott Boras client would possibly accept the offer, though it could be said that no other client was in the same unique situation. As the article says, “Wieters could wind up getting the Nelson Cruz treatment” if teams are afraid of lingering health issues and unwilling to sign him long-term.

  • There are no real comparable scenarios to anticipate what his actual dollar value may be, though the writer presumes it would be between that of Russell Martin ($82 million for five years) and Jarrod Saltalamachhia ($21 million for three years) … and likely to be closer to the former than the latter.

  • But then again, the Orioles may be better served to use their dollars for upgrades in other areas of need, and this is at the heart of the controversy and arguments being bantered about by O’s fans at this time.

All I know is if/when Matt leaves Baltimore, I suddenly have to figure out what to do with the Bobble-head I picked up a few years ago.  Should I leave it on my living room shelf with my other Bobble-head/Statues?  Or should I hide it in the back of a closet somewhere?  Decisions, Decisions.

ScoutsEdit: Fixed typos caused by broken brain syndrome. (ie: I’m an idiot)

18 thoughts on “The Curious Case of Matt Wieters

    1. The Red Sox will give him a four year deal to deal with all kinds of escalating contract bullshit!

      Basically, our shitty five year pitcher ( who wasn’t Lester) needs a catcher who kinda sucks too!

      Can only play a hundred times a year? …Check

      Way overpaid for past stats?.. Check

      Going to get the cancer stricken manager fired?….Check

      Make Hanley and the Panda look like garbage….Check

      I just sold myself on him as the next Veritek…. Check

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  1. Oddly enough, it wasn’t until the 3rd time that “QA” appears that I realized that Qualifying Affer isn’t a thing. Or maybe it’s just the product of some regional accent I’m unaware of….

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  2. This is not a decision I would want my team to have to make.

    If they make the QO and he accepts, can they trade him before next season starts?

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      1. If they can trade him if he accepts, at least they might be able to get something for him…someone probably could use a C/DH with some pop…and a 1 yr deal should be in the budget for a lot of teams.

        I guess if I was the O’s, I’d make the offer….the worst think to happen would be you have him for 1 more year…hopefully, he’s productive and you can QO him again and get a pick.

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      2. I can’t imagine they could trade him without his consent. I doubt QO is different than other signed contracts, the player is protected from a trade for the first year by default.

        Also, while he isn’t necessarily Molina when it comes to pitch framing, Weiters is a very good defensive catcher so using him at DH diminishes a lot of his worth.

        Also, a player on a QO I think does not have the QO limit the next year, either the team uses that time for a long term contract or they lose it entirely the next off season. QO does not turn into a perpetual right to a player.

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      3. Did research.

        Teams can give a guy a QO every year. It is up to the player to turn it down. There is no limit to the number of consecutive years a player may be given a QO.

        Also, a guy that accepts a QO is given no trade rights through June 15th (just like a newly signed FA). The player can waive those rights, but only be traded for other player contracts and/or cash considerations no more that $50K (i.e. a team can’t sign a guy to a QO and then immediately sell the player’s contract for cash).

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  3. Dude, I stopped reading when you started with the Scott Boras hate. I really don’t understand why people get so torqued up about him.

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    1. Agreed. He’s the best agent in the business. Do we blast the best baseball player or the best owner, or the best mathematician or the best chess player for being good at what they do?

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