BALTIMORE -- Should the Orioles re-sign catcher Matt Wieters?No. Logistically, it doesn't make a whole lot of sense for the O's, who already added Welington Castillo, to bring back Wieters and have the pair split duties. The fact that Wieters remains a free agent is unexpected, though the offseason has
BALTIMORE -- Should the Orioles re-sign catcher Matt Wieters?
No. Logistically, it doesn't make a whole lot of sense for the O's, who already added Welington Castillo, to bring back Wieters and have the pair split duties. The fact that Wieters remains a free agent is unexpected, though the offseason has seen numerous higher-profile players in a cheaper market than expected vying for any kind of job.
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Wieters, who accepted the Orioles' qualifying offer last offseason to delay free agency, is well-liked in the clubhouse and by manager Buck Showalter. But it would be surprising if he elected to sign somewhere knowing he wouldn't be the full-time backstop. The O's aren't actively pursuing Wieters, making the reunion a long shot, but it's not entirely out of the question.
The longer this goes, the more Wieters' price is likely to drop, and that's exactly the wheelhouse of executive vice president of baseball operations Dan Duquette. Though you would think with Duquette adding Castillo, money could be allocated elsewhere (such as starting pitching or outfield depth) either before Spring Training or during the season.
Keep in mind the Orioles didn't sign Castillo with visions of him being the main catcher. They wanted a veteran backstop who had some offensive capability and enough of a presence behind the plate to not rush No. 2 prospectChance Sisco, who is probably a season or two away from being Baltimore's starting backstop. Caleb Joseph, who hit .174 in 132 at-bats in 2016, is Castillo's backup.
Re-signing a homegrown guy like Wieters, who was drafted by the Orioles and has yet to wear another uniform, would be sentimental, but not practical. Sure, he could spend some time at designated hitter, but the O's added Mark Trumbo with the idea being that he would see more time at DH and less in the outfield this season.
Wieters is coming off a season in which he hit .243/.302/.409 with 17 home runs and 66 RBIs. He's been linked to several other teams, including the Angels, Reds and Rockies, as well as the division-rival Rays.
Brittany Ghiroli has covered the Orioles for MLB.com since 2010. Read her blog, Britt's Bird Watch, follow her on Facebook and Twitter @britt_ghiroli, and listen to her podcast.