Matt Wieters has been a mainstay of the Baltimore Orioles’ franchise. Now, it looks more likely that he will not be back with the team in 2017.
According to Jon Heyman of Today’s Knuckleball, Matt Wieters most likely will not receive the qualifying offer before 5 P.M. tonight:
Indications are, the Orioles will not extend the $17.2 million qualifying offer to free agent All-Star catcher Matt Wieters, which could lead to the end of the longtime Oriole’s Baltimore tenure.
Wieters accepted the Orioles’ qualifying offer prior to last season for $15.8M. During this offseason, he looks to be the most sought after free-agent catcher. Wilson Ramos was among Wieters as one of the top free-agent catchers, however, he had season-ending knee surgery.
Wieters, who will turn 31 next season, slashed .242/.302/.409, drove in 66 runs and hit 17 home runs. Although it was his lowest batting average and OPS since 2013, Wieters made progress on his totals from his years in 2014 and 2015, when he was injured.
Brian McCann and Russell Martin received $85M and $82M, on five-year deals. Wieters will most likely garner the same amount of attention as them in the free-agent market, if he doesn’t receive the qualifying offer. The Orioles probably will not be willing to give Wieters the same amount of money as McCann and Martin due to his injury history and the fact that their top catching prospect, Chance Sisco, isn’t very far away from the Majors.
Between Bowie (AA) and Norfolk (AAA) in 2016, Sisco slashed .317/.403/.430, drove in 51 RBI and six homers. Although Sisco doesn’t have much power, he has shown his proficiency at the plate. His bat would fit pretty nicely with a team that is in need of someone that hits for average and gets on base.
Sisco’s defense is in need of improvement reaching the Majors, however. He has made some strides towards becoming a serviceable backstop and his game-calling has gotten better. Before Sisco gets his chance, the waiting game with Wieters continues.