The steady decline in offensive production along with poorer pitch framing has hurt Matt Wieters’ market, but he does have interest in him coming from the Baltimore Orioles, Washington Nationals and a tad from the Atlanta Braves.
Wieters had a disappointing 2016, with his OPS dropping for a second straight year after his fantastic 2014. However, his defense and pitch framing reaching an all-time low for him are doing more damage than anything else to his stock. Jason Castro, who is an inferior hitter, signed a three-year deal, the first catcher off the board with $8 million a season coming his way. Early expectation were for Wieters to get around $12-13 million a season on a three-year deal too, but teams might be going cold on him, or just don’t want to deal with the demands of Scott Boras, reportedly asking for what Wieters made last season ($15.8 million on a qualifying offer) over three years.
The Orioles obviously need a catcher and might bring him back, but they didn’t want to extend a qualifying offer worth $17.2 million to him this offseason. The Washington Nationals are also in the market for a starting catcher and could be in a position enabling them to spend a little bit more than others, hoping Wieters bounces back on both offense and defense, batting .243 with 17 home runs last season; not a disaster, but far less accurate than in the past.
Once thing that might be worth monitoring is the news that Wieters injured his non-throwing arm at home this offseason. Nothing too serious, and it shouldn’t stop him from getting back to baseball in January or play in Spring training further down the line, but with teams following and noticing almost everything these days, who know if it’s not another reason the market is lukewarm at best right now for someone who might be considered the best catcher available right now.