With Matt Wieters being a free agent, the Baltimore Orioles need to be aware of who’s in need of a catcher. Their American League East rival, the New York Yankees, made a move yesterday that could impact the Orioles and Wieters. They traded catcher Brian McCann to Houston for two promising young pitching prospects.
McCann had apparently been on Houston’s radar for some time, and he’s a player that they had really wanted to add to their mix. For sure, he’ll provide some veteran leadership to a young team who seems to be up and coming. However while my personal opinion is that they gave up too much to get him, that seems to be how New York flies. So now they have a hole at catcher.
So my point would be why would they not be interested in Wieters? Since the likes of Wieters, Machado, and even Schoop have broken into the bigs with the Orioles, the muted running joke has been that at some point they’d be in pinstripes. (The same is true with Washington’s Harper down the pike.) So again, I’m not sure why they wouldn’t be interested in Wieters, but assuming they are in some manner they now have a golden opportunity to get him.
And given the fact that the market for catchers isn’t as good as it could be, Wieters is looking to get decent coin for his services. So what exactly can the Orioles do? The fact is that the Birds have about as much of a shot as anyone else at landing their now former catcher. It all depends on whether or not they’re willing to spend the cash to keep him.
In general, I think they’re fairly set at catcher with Joseph and Pena. But while there’s no gaurante that Wieters ends up in the Bronx right now, you have to imagine that he’s on their radar. And here’s the kicker; he doesn’t come at a price more than his price in a sense. This is exactly why the Orioles should have made him a qualifying offer, because now any team can sign him without surrendering a draft choice.
New York is in the rare spot of rebuilding and being able to compete at the same time. So if they had interest in Wieters, are we to believe that surrendering a precious first round pick might not give them some pause? If the goal is to continue building for the future, that pick would in theory be of supreme importance. That’s not something with which they need to be worried now.
Ultimately, whether he ends up in the Bronx or not remains to be seen. But I don’t think he’ll be back at Camden Yards, except as a visitor at some point. And while the Orioles are a better team with Matt Wieters than they are without him, that’s not necessarily a bad thing. They’re keeping some extra cash stashed away for the likes of Manny and Schoop at some point down the road. These decisions aren’t easy sometimes, however they have to be made.