Baltimore Orioles: Make Qualifying Offer to Matt Wieters?


Oct 4, 2015; Baltimore, MD, USA; Baltimore Orioles catcher Matt Wieters (32) stands at home plate during the eighth inning against the New York Yankees at Oriole Park at Camden Yards. The Orioles won 9-4. Mandatory Credit: Tommy Gilligan-USA TODAY Sports

Would you make the qualifying offer of $15.8 million to Matt Wieters if you were part of the Baltimore Orioles management? It is easy to say what might be done with someone else’s money, but what should the O’s do? That very question was raised on the MLB Trade Rumors site with an attached poll.

Checking back several times reveals that the numbers have remained relatively consistent over the first 24 hours of the poll. About 60% of respondents have said that, yes, the Orioles should make the offer.

The article repeats a number of the factors and considerations that have been noted in various sources, including our previous article on Matt Wieters.

Among these points are:

The confusing nature of evaluating what his performance will be when coming back fully healthy from the elbow surgery. Wieters looked his best at the beginning of 2014 when the incident took him down, but varied offensive categories still do leave much to be desired.

Wieters has far more pop for the catcher position than is commonly available, and this brings value.

While having a good career average for throwing out base stealers, he is not as well-rated in terms of pitch framing and pitch-by-pitch metrics as one might expect.

The fear for the Baltimore Orioles is that Wieters might indeed be the first to accept the qualifying offer, which is of course balanced by the fear of losing the draft pick if they do not make it and he signs elsewhere.

  • The presumption is that no Scott Boras client would possibly accept the offer, though it could be said that no other client was in the same unique situation. As the article says, “Wieters could wind up getting the Nelson Cruz treatment” if teams are afraid of lingering health issues and unwilling to sign him long-term.
  • There are no real comparable scenarios to anticipate what his actual dollar value may be, though the writer presumes it would be between that of Russell Martin ($82 million for five years) and Jarrod Saltalamachhia ($21 million for three years) … and likely to be closer to the former than the latter.
  • But then again, the Orioles may be better served to use their dollars for upgrades in other areas of need, and this is at the heart of the controversy and arguments being bantered about by O’s fans at this time.

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    At the end of the day, the Orioles pretty much have to do the offer and hope for the best outcome. If he takes it, they will hope for $15.8 million of bang for the buck, while still getting the draft pick the next year. And if he rejects it, they save the money to use elsewhere and gain the draft compensation when he signs with another team. Of course, he could take the offer and come back and stink up the joint in 2016.

    Next: Thinking about the Matt Wieters situation