One of the more popular names floating around during this week’s GM Meetings has been that of Baltimore Orioles catcher Matt Wieters. A Gold Glover behind the dish, Wieters is coming off of a rough season with the stick, and could very well be on his way out. However, such a move may not be in the best interest of the O’s.
A Matt Wieters trade does make sense on some level. A Wieters trade, in conjunction with another move, would free up some cash for them to be players in the free agent market or make a significant addition via trade. At the same time, though, it’s important to acknowledge the fact that the return simply wouldn’t make it worth it.
Wieters has two years left of team control, so waiting on a deal and leaving just the one would hurt his value. Of course, his value right now is also much lower than it was a year ago. Despite the fact that he provided Gold glove defense behind the dish, his performance at the plate has his value at a point that wouldn’t make a deal worth it for Baltimore.
The Orioles’ backstop hit just .235 in 2013 and got on base at a clip of just .287 overall. As lefty, though, the switch hitting catcher did hit .282 and post a .326 OBP, and he does provide some serious pop from behind the plate, averaging 21 home runs in his brief career. Combine the power with the defense and it isn’t difficult to see why teams would want to acquire him, even after a down year in terms of his ability to get on base.
From the Orioles’ perspective, though, you’re not going to get the return that is likely coveted. A Gold Glove catcher with power, who will likely rebound from a down year, especially if he goes full time lefty, is worth holding onto, unless you can get a team to overpay. If it’s a matter of saving money, move Jim Johnson.
Trading Wieters would not only leave a hole as far as the infield defense is concerned, but would force them to rethink their whole offseason strategy. At this point, their lineup itself isn’t much of a concern, other than adding a depth bat. Baltimore would be better served to hang onto him for the time being, simply because his true value far outweighs what the Orioles would likely get in return at this point in time.