Matt Wieters doesn't receive qualifying offer, but Mark Trumbo does - BaltimoreBaseball.com

Dan Connolly

Matt Wieters doesn’t receive qualifying offer, but Mark Trumbo does

trumbo-wieters
Photo Credit: Joy R. Absalon

The Orioles took divergent — but unsurprising — paths in dealing with their two most coveted free agents Monday, making a $17.2 million qualifying offer to right fielder Mark Trumbo but not to long-time catcher Matt Wieters, according to sources.

Trumbo will now have until Nov. 14 to decide whether to accept the one-year offer or test free agency. Since the 30-year-old has never been a free agent before and is coming off his best season, one in which he led the majors in homers, it would be a major surprise if he didn’t reject the offer. That would then allow the Orioles to receive a supplemental 2017 draft pick if Trumbo signs elsewhere this offseason.

This is the second consecutive year in which the club had to make the qualifying-offer decision with Wieters, one of the most-respected and longest-tenured Orioles. Last year, they made the offer and Wieters, who was still rebounding from elbow surgery, decided to take it.

This year, he’s a free agent again. And because he was healthy most of the season, he’s in a better spot to test free agency, meaning the 30-year-old was less likely to accept the qualifying offer this year. However, the Orioles decided not to take the chance – and won’t dedicate another $17 million to a payroll that already has significant commitments set for 2017.

Wieters, who is widely considered the top free-agent catcher available, will be able to sign with another team without that club losing a pick. The flip side is that the Orioles will receive no compensation if Wieters signs elsewhere.

The qualifying-offer decisions do not prohibit the Orioles from re-signing Wieters and/or Trumbo. Both have said they would like to return to Baltimore, but both are set to receive multi-year deals – and the Orioles may not decide to expend further resources on the duo knowing that team payroll is expected to be around $150 million in 2017 due to several expensive arbitration awards.

Designated hitter Pedro Alvarez, 29, and Nolan Reimold, 33, also did not receive qualifying offers.

3 Comments

3 Comments

  1. natsidis

    November 7, 2016 at 6:32 pm

    In your opinion please give us the odds of each one of these free agents, PLEASE. Would love to hear your thoughts as I’m sure other readers do also. Thank you in advance ….

  2. natsidis

    November 7, 2016 at 6:44 pm

    Dan odds of each player returning back to the Orioles, sorry about that. Thanks

    • Dan Connolly

      November 9, 2016 at 12:58 am

      Nats: I’ll do a full piece soon.

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