Baltimore Orioles: Featured Profile on Matt Wieters


Jul 31, 2015; Baltimore, MD, USA; Baltimore Orioles catcher Matt Wieters (32) chases down a loose ball during the first inning against the Detroit Tigers at Oriole Park at Camden Yards. Mandatory Credit: Tommy Gilligan-USA TODAY Sports

Without planning to do so, here at The Baltimore Wire over the past 10 days or so we have been often featuring our reactions and thoughts on Baltimore Orioles-related profile articles from the prolific MLB Trade site.  As with a previous article on Chris Davis, along with our review, let’s take a look at this latest examination of the Matt Wieters free agency situation.

Over recent years, I believe I have disagreed with MLBTR writers as much as I have accepted their viewpoints. Maybe I’m just getting soft, but yet again I have to say that this article by Tim Dierkes is really quite excellent and lays out the case for and against Wieters as well as you will see anywhere.

The writer goes into a breakdown by citing a list of both strengths and weaknesses, before finally predicting what he believes will be the outcome.


Wieters is an above average offensive player for his position, even if he did not live up to all of the expectations that came along with him at the beginning. He had more homers than any other catcher from 2011-2013, prior to his elbow injury. Wieters is a strong clubhouse presence and steady, quiet leader. He has been among the best at controlling runners on the bases, and he is an excellent pitch blocker and two-time Gold Glove winner.


Wieters is a big, big, big guy for a catcher; and others before him of such size struggled to be able to catch in the area of 140 games a year as they aged into their 30s. So there is a durability concern, even beyond the reconstructive surgery to the elbow. And his offensive production is not sufficient to use him extensively at first base or designated hitter. I will add to this the following statistic: as a DH, Wieters hit .182 — 8-for-44 with a double and 18 strikeouts.

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The defensive reputation does not come with a strong history of pitch framing — a skill that is exceptionally important though not as readily visible as most statistics. Dierkes writes …

"Looking at Wieters’ pitch framing data at StatCorner, he’s below average at getting pitches outside of the zone called strikes for his pitchers.  The stat is called oStr%, and Wieters was the worst in baseball this year among those with a sample of 4,000 or more pitches.  He was below average at this key framing skill from 2012-14 as well."

Predicted Outcome

Dierkes projects that the Orioles will give Wieters the qualifying offer that this Scott Boras client will turn down. Since he is by far the best catcher available, he will end up with an offer in the area of $64 million for four years. As everyone has written, the Braves could be the primary suitor, as well as perhaps keen interest from the Rockies and White Sox.

Next: Reviewing MLBTR's overall offseason summary of the Orioles

I am trying to find anything at all that I would disagree with about this summary, but I cannot. Given all of the other needs of the Orioles, I will hope that Wieters does indeed move on, being grateful for his years with the O’s.