As we inch closer to Hot Stove rumors, it seems that one longtime Orioles player will not be back next season.
Matt Wieters did not receive the qualifying offer of $17.2M yesterday at the 5PM deadline. Wieters, 30, has played for the Orioles during the entirety of his eight year career, making the All-Star team four times and winning the Gold Glove twice. Wieters had .243/.302/.409 slash line over 464 plate appearances in 2016, along with 17 home runs.
As for Mark Trumbo, the slugging DH/right fielder/first baseman, has received the qualifying offer. He led the league in homers with 47 in Baltimore. He drove in 108 runs, hitting at a .256/.316/.533 slash line. His biggest issue was striking out. Trumbo, 30, struck out 170 times last season. For a team that wants to diversify their run output, it remains to be seen what the Orioles will do about Trumbo.
If Trumbo does not return to the Orioles, Baltimore will receive a compensatory first round pick in the 2017 MLB Draft. The Orioles are also in dire need of building up their farm system, ranking 27th out of 30 MLB teams. To say the least, that is very poor and losing Trumbo could be a blessing in disguise for one of two reasons:
First, they would receive a first round pick if he is lost. There is an understanding that first round picks do not always pan out in baseball, or any sport for that matter. However, the Orioles need young prospects to be able to flip them for more pieces or just to hold onto those prospects so that they can develop.
Secondly, not having to sign Trumbo could free up some money to sign other players. Trumbo’s contract will probably range from $65-$85M over the course of four years. The Orioles could use this money to spend on the bullpen, bench depth and even an outfielder or two.
The winter is long and it hasn’t even began yet. Only time will tell what the O’s will do this offseason.