Mar 7, 2015; Sarasota, FL, USA; Baltimore Orioles catcher Matt Wieters (32) works out before a spring training baseball game against the Boston Red Sox at Ed Smith Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports
Free agent players given the qualifying offer of $15.8 million like Matt Wieters of the Baltimore Orioles have until 5:00 Friday to accept it. There are a total of 20 such offers. Now in the fourth year of this process, none of the 34 players given the offer in the first three years have accepted it. Could 2015 be different?
There is no surprise that the Orioles and Dan Duquette have not made any big moves or signings by this point. It is not their style to do that, and to be fair, it is not like there are many large moves being made anywhere at this point.
Honestly, the Orioles need to see what Wieters does. If there was ever a player who might most benefit by taking the offer, it could be argued that the O’s catcher is the one to do it.
Conventional wisdom has been that there is no way a Scott Boras client would ever do such a thing. But Boras seems to certainly be saying that Wieters is giving it serious consideration …
And even though there is scant news about deals being consummated, one that was done yesterday was in Atlanta. The Braves signed catcher A.J. Pierzynski to a one-year deal worth $3 million with an additional million in incentives. Not bad for a guy turning 39 at the end of December. The word is that he had better offers elsewhere but chose to stay in Atlanta.
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Pierzynski started a total of 104 games, hitting .300 with a .339 OBP, tallying 24 doubles and nine homers. Pretty good stuff.
More conventional wisdom has been that Matt Wieters is bound for Atlanta, given his residence near there, college background, etc. Does this Pierzynski development raise the possibility that he will now accept the qualifying offer?
The $15.8 QO is a pretty nice pile of cash. Not only is it more than probably what at least half of the readers of this article make in a year, it is enough to affect the offseason plans for all but a couple of teams.
To put this number into an interesting perspective, consider this from a FoxSports article by Jon Morosi …
"Any NHL player accepting a $15.8 million contract would immediately become the highest-paid player in the league … by nearly $4 million. Only one NFL player — cornerback Darrelle Revis — has a base salary in excess of $15.8 million, according to the database at spotrac.com."
If Wieters does take the offer, there is going to be more than one or two in the Warehouse who will be saying, “I told you so; this is exactly what I feared would happen!” Indeed, it would affect what else could be done in terms of free agent acquisition. And Wieters will have to have some sort of wonderful-good year to deliver sufficient bang for the QO bucks.