Tap-In Question: If you sign one to a multi-year deal, would it be Trumbo or Wieters? - BaltimoreBaseball.com

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Tap-In Question: If you sign one to a multi-year deal, would it be Trumbo or Wieters?

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Photo credit: Joy R. Absalon

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Once the last pitch is thrown and the World Series is over, something besides an on-field celebration occurs.

And I’m not talking about free beers at Connolly’s Tap Room, either.

Once the October Classic officially ends, the floodgates open for baseball’s free agency, and the hundred-some eligible players come off their team’s rosters immediately. There’s a five-day exclusivity period following the World Series in which players can negotiate only with their most recent team. And then it truly becomes a free-for-all. (Though it’s anything but free.)

Unlike last year, when Chris Davis, Darren O’Day, Matt Wieters and Wei-Yin Chen immediately became free agents seeking multi-year deals, this year’s Orioles’ crop won’t be as coveted.

There are nine pending Orioles’ free agents this offseason; Paul Janish would have been the 10th, but he was taken off the 40-man roster and elected free agency already this offseason.

Of the nine, only two are guaranteed multi-year deals: Mark Trumbo, the majors’ home-run leader in 2016; and Matt Wieters, arguably the best catcher on the open market.

Designated hitter Pedro Alvarez may get a multi-year deal, and so could outfielder Michael Bourn, but the others – Steve Pearce, Tommy Hunter, Nolan Reimold, Brian Duensing and Drew Stubbs — are probably looking at one-year contracts.

Trumbo and Wieters are the most interesting cases this offseason for the Orioles. The team surely will make a qualifying offer – it’s $17.2 million this year – to Trumbo and, when he rejects it, will get a compensation draft pick if he signs elsewhere.

Wieters accepted the Orioles’ qualifying offer of $15.8 million last year, but that’s because he was coming off a season in which he needed to prove he could play every day. He did that in 2016, though it wasn’t his best campaign. Still, with Washington’s Wilson Ramos undergoing knee surgery in October, Wieters will be the No. 1 catching target for most teams that need backstop help.

The Orioles basically will have a $150 million payroll in 2017 if all they do is pay their arbitration-eligible players and those with existing contracts. So, they aren’t going to be opening the checkbook nearly as wide as they did last year.

Really, it’s a bit of a longshot that they retain Wieters or Trumbo – especially if they use any available budgetary resources on rotation or leadoff help.

Here’s my question, as we are about to kickoff free agency: If you could retain just one of Wieters or Trumbo, which would it be?

Both are great clubhouse guys. Wieters is established in Baltimore, but Trumbo quickly became a fan favorite. Trumbo had the much better offensive year and has the power component every team seeks. Wieters plays the premium position and has always come through with the big hits when needed. Trumbo likely will cost more, but that’s not a guarantee. An All-Star catcher in a weak market doesn’t come cheaply.

You can make a case for either. Hey, I’ll let you make a case for neither, if you like. But the question is a simple one. If you have to choose between a long-term deal with Wieters or Trumbo, which would you choose?

Tap-In Question: If you have to sign just one to a multi-year deal, would it be Trumbo or Wieters?

23 Comments

23 Comments

  1. Boog Robinson Robinson

    November 2, 2016 at 8:11 am

    If we must decide between the two, it’s a no-brainer. Can Trumbo handle the young pitchers? No? Then hands down, it’s Wieters. Nothing against Trumbo, but it’s as simple as that. Backstops and game managers like Matt don’t come along often, and the Orioles can hardly afford to ignore that.

    And just why can’t we sign these guys? Crush Mendoza’s albatross of a contract, that’s why. The team will be paying (overpaying) for that signing for years to come, and I can’t help but feel there’s a reason the rest of the league didn’t throw the $$$ at him last year. But I digress…..

    Sign Matt Wieters if at all possible.

    • Dan Connolly

      November 2, 2016 at 11:04 am

      You’ve been beating this drum for months and I can’t say it is untrue. One huge contract like that does affect other decisions. That’s the reality.

  2. Creatively_19

    November 2, 2016 at 8:41 am

    C. Neither.

    Wieters’ bat is never going to get any better, his pitch framing is as good as it will ever be, and he’s not worth what some team is going to pay him this off-season.
    Trumbo hits Trumbombs, we know that. I think O’s fans are tired of one dimensional baseball. We saw that after the O’s committed their largest contract to Davis, then brought on Trumbo who quickly showed his bat was made for Camden Yards. But how many solo home runs do the O’s have to hit before we acknowledge the persistent on-base problem with this team? Save the money, sign Michael Bourne. If we ever have hope of retaining Britton, Tillman, Machado and Schoop, we’ll need all the Brinks Trucks full of cash, not idling in front of the homes of one-dimensional hitters.

    • JustWin8

      November 2, 2016 at 9:45 am

      Agree 100% Find a stop gap catcher for a 1 yr contact and give Cisco another year to develop in Norfolk. Money could be better spend re-signing Tillman, Britton, and Machado. Davis’ contract is going to be tough to swallow in a few years. Pitching wins championships. Watching this year’s post season is proof

    • Dan Connolly

      November 2, 2016 at 11:07 am

      19 and 8: that’s definitely a solid option. But I do warn you that getting a quality C is so difficult to find. That’s why Wieters will get a big contract. And there’s no guarantee Sisco can play D adequately.

  3. SMAC8567

    November 2, 2016 at 9:51 am

    Wieters. Great with the pitching staff and defensively reliable. As much as I like Trumbo, we need to diversify the lineup with more pure hitters that can get on base and steal a few. Leading the league in HR’s doesn’t win you pennants.

    • Dan Connolly

      November 2, 2016 at 11:08 am

      That’s the way I’d lean if choosing.

  4. cboemmeljr

    November 2, 2016 at 9:54 am

    If choosing, I say re-sign Trumbo. With projected QA and if Wieters accepts that’s $33MIL for 2 years. I’m not sure how much gas is left in his tank. I think a suitable catching “platoon” can come from Joseph, Pena and Audry Perez: holding down fort until Sisco is ready.

    Keep Trumbo and his bat, don’t make another Cruz mistake.

    With Wieters it comes down to the juice doesn’t justify the squeeze, IMO.

    • Dan Connolly

      November 2, 2016 at 11:09 am

      I get the point. I think Wieters has a couple decent all-around years left in him. But the question will be: for how much?

      • cboemmeljr

        November 2, 2016 at 12:24 pm

        I agree with you there Dan, it will be the cost and # of years. If you do re-sign him would it be for 2 years? Once the catchers we have in the system are ready, how do you phase him out? I assume most feel Sisco is 2 years away?

  5. BirdsofEutaw

    November 2, 2016 at 10:17 am

    On a 2 year deal I’d have to say Wieters as it bridges the gap with Sisco and will provide stability back there.

    Trumbo was brutal in RF, on a 3 year deal I like neither but would say Trumbo here as he can at least platoon in RF and DH. Not sure I want Wieters as my DH.

    • Dan Connolly

      November 2, 2016 at 11:09 am

      You aren’t getting either for 2 years. Both only 30

  6. RagingC

    November 2, 2016 at 11:09 am

    I wouldn’t make anything more than qualifying offers to either. O’s are young and power will come in a small park. Get pitching! Same story for over 20 years. We need starters. Wieters is over rated, Trumbo is replaceable. Give some kids a shot and spend ALL available budget on arms!

    • Dan Connolly

      November 2, 2016 at 11:14 am

      Problem is the same old story when it comes to FA pitching. Super expensive and rarely durable given age attached to FA starters. Best on the market are Hill and Hellickson. And both will be expensive. Almost better this year to build on strengths than improve weaknesses. Except for OBP. Have to diversify lineup some.

  7. Bancells Moustache

    November 2, 2016 at 11:27 am

    3 of the last 5 years the Orioles have made the playoffs. In 2 of the last 5 years, Chris Davis led the Baltimore Orioles in Home Runs. Wanna guess which 2 years they were?

    I’m QO-ing Trumbo, as a long term deal will just be too costly and I question whether the rest of the league will throw money at this guy, given his spotty track record. If he walks, so be it. Let the market dictate and come back at him in the spring if it proves to be less than he expected.

    Wieters, on the other hand, seems like he could be a potential flashpoint within the organization. He isn’t worth what he will want, and most likely get, from another franchise BUT he is also Mr Showalter’s Knight in shining Under Armour. Buck loves the guy, to the point where I wouldn’t be surprised to see him pop up on a Showalter coaching staff if his career should end before Buck’s does. Does Duquette get push back from Showalter if the decision is made to move on from Wieters? Does Buck even have the leverage to push back, after the way he gave away the store at the end of the season? Just something I think could be interesting to watch…

    • Dan Connolly

      November 2, 2016 at 2:11 pm

      To your first point. Trumbo will get paid handsomely. Home runs are a premium. So he’ll likely walk. Second point: Buck loves and wants to keep most of his players. But he knows it’s a financial business. He may grouse privately but he’ll deal with all the decisions publicly. He still will have plenty to work with regardless.

  8. oldbeachguy

    November 2, 2016 at 1:32 pm

    Hi Dan, Let me say first of all, I’ve enjoyed all of your reporting throughout the 2016 season and will be also during this hot stove period. What’s funny about this is that when DD traded for 45 last year I said at that time it was the biggest steal we’ve gotten in a long time, I loved it then and still do now! On the other hand before 32 accepted the QO, I had said I felt that 36 and 27 could have hanled the catching adequately, wow after the season 36 had was I wrong. So what do we do now? I still want 45 in the middle of our lineup and 32 handling the pitchers . So as of now I suppose I (spending the O’s money) I will give the QO’s to both and see what happens. Maybe we’ll be fortunate enough to able to give both 3 year deals that both will accept, as they seem to be prospering here! Let me preface this rant by explaining I’ve lived between NJ & Fl all of my 66 years of which I’ve been an O’s fan 56 of them. Go O’s……

    • Dan Connolly

      November 2, 2016 at 2:15 pm

      First of all, thanks for reading and commenting. And tell your friends. We need as many people coming here as possible. Never too much Orioles stuff. Secondly, I think you make a good point on Wieters. People imo underestimate the importance of a solid catcher. And Wieters is one –even if he is not the future hall of famer some predicted. Very tough position to master both sides of plate.

  9. Steve Cockey

    November 2, 2016 at 2:24 pm

    I’d give both of these guys the QO but probably wouldn’t offer a multi-year deal to either. The O’s need Trumbo’s 30+ homers and below average on-base skills like they need a hole in the head, IMO. Re-allocate those funds elsewhere.

    Wieters is tougher given his position and the lack of an in-house solution ready to step in (Sisco’s defense isn’t there yet from all accounts, and may never be). So I’d make him the offer again and make him turn it down. If he accepts, he’s back on another one-year deal — albeit an expensive one — while Sisco continues working on his defense. If he declines, you get a much-needed draft pick, and one that’s ineligible to be traded, at that. Always a plus with this club ;).

    • Dan Connolly

      November 2, 2016 at 4:40 pm

      For the reasons Steve stated, I see no reason not to offer QOs to both. Little risk imo

  10. 5brooks5

    November 2, 2016 at 3:52 pm

    I wouldn’t give either the deal that they both will likely get. Give them both the Q.O. and hope they turn it down. Get the draft picks and hope they decline and maybe we can select another Paradis, Hobgood, Reed, Smith,Rowell,etc. Not that I’m cynical or anything.

    • Dan Connolly

      November 2, 2016 at 4:44 pm

      Keep that legendary faith No. 5. Keep the faith. :).

  11. Tiss

    November 3, 2016 at 10:39 am

    Do the Orioles need a poor defensive OF who is largely HR or nothing, doesn’t walk enough, and strikes out a lot?

    No…they do not. Sorry, Mark Trumbo.

    The O’s need Wieters more, but folks…this is what Matt Wieters is. He’s not getting better than this. Stop kidding yourselves. He’s a decent enough defensive catcher who is at best league average offensively. He also doesn’t walk enough and strikes out too much.

    Look, everything has a price. Of course you offer both the QO. And if the bidding cools on either enough to make it less than $15 mil per year for less than 4 years, MAYBE you think about it. But absent that…Neither.

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