Tap-In Question: It's over, so what are your thoughts on Wieters as a Washington National? - BaltimoreBaseball.com

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Tap-In Question: It’s over, so what are your thoughts on Wieters as a Washington National?

Photo credit: Joy R. Absalon

I hope you are in a sharing mood today.

Because your barkeep is about to get all touchy-share-y here. OK, not really. But I’m gonna throw some observations your way, lots of them, and then I want you to return the favor.

On Tuesday, former Orioles’ catcher Matt Wieters agreed to a two-year, $21 million deal with the Orioles’ geographic rival, the Washington Nationals. There is an opt-out after this season, so he can leave Washington at the end of 2017 and enter the wild world of free agency again next year if he desires.

For me, there’s a whole lot to say about this deal, this guy and this free-agent market. So, sit back, grab a cold one from the bar and act interested. Then it will be your turn to opine.

Here are some thoughts:

Wieters will be missed in the Orioles’ clubhouse

I don’t think that can be questioned. He took that “veteran leader” tag seriously. Sometimes he rubbed people the wrong way. Heck, he and I had some fiery discussions over the years. Because he cared about his craft and the people around him, and sometimes my objective and his clashed.

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But I respected the guy. I respected how he handled the pressure of being the so-called “Joe Mauer With Power,” how he handled the criticism when he didn’t meet the public’s lofty expectations and how he dealt with a career-threatening injury.

And I wasn’t around the guy all the time the way his teammates were. There truly was a mutual respect there. Remember when Chris Davis was suspended at the end of the 2014 season? Well, Wieters was one of the guys who immediately contacted Davis and got on him for letting his teammates down. Davis said it was one of the toughest conversations he’s ever had. But Wieters – and Darren O’Day – could say those things to Davis. Because they had earned that credibility. That’s going to be hard to replace, like it was when Nick Markakis and Nelson Cruz left.

Wieters will be missed on the field

Yeah, I’ve seen the numbers. I know he’s 30 now and his offense sputtered in 2016 and his pitch-framing metrics aren’t good. Tough to argue with stats, I suppose.

But I also know that most pitchers really liked throwing to him. And I know he worked tirelessly. And I know he played hurt. And I know he seemingly dialed-up his game when a big hit was needed.

Personally, I think Wieters is going to have a tremendous 2017 in Washington. Not spiteful thinking, I don’t get wrapped up in that kind of stuff. I just think he’ll want to prove a lot of people wrong about his much-discussed declining skills.

Additionally, I think Welington Castillo is really going to have to play well, because Wieters is now 50 miles away, but his shadow will linger here – especially if Wieters gets off to a hot start.

The hype machine was his biggest downfall

I think part of the reason for the Wieters-bashing I’ve heard in the last few years has more to do with the hype surrounding Wieters’ career than his actual performance. Catcher is a brutal position, and Wieters was one of the better ones in the majors during the last decade.

You can make an argument that he is the best all-around catcher in Orioles history – see this piece for more on that – if you combine offense, defense and leadership. But many view Wieters as a disappointment because he wasn’t Johnny Bench 2.0.

He didn’t create those expectations (besides his performances as an amateur and minor leaguer). He never seemed to care about all those accolades when he arrived or the fact that some cheers turned to jeers when he proved to be a mere mortal.

Why didn’t the Orioles re-sign him?

Many people have asked me this question, and there are plenty of theories. But I think the simplest one is the most accurate: Orioles executive vice president Dan Duquette believed the slightly younger Castillo would provide better offensive production than Wieters and adequate defensive capabilities while costing less.

The financial assessment is correct. Castillo signed for one-year, $6 million with a $7 million player option for 2018. The Orioles could get Castillo for two years at a price that’s only $2.5 million more than what Wieters will command in 2017.

Also, in November no one thought Wieters would settle for two years, and the Orioles didn’t want to completely block top prospect Chance Sisco, who should start this year at Triple-A Norfolk. But once it became clear that Wieters’ overall market was dropping and that he could be had for a shorter-term deal, the Orioles didn’t seem to be more interested.

The bottom line is that Duquette, who is all about most bang for the buck, believes Castillo is a better value for 2017 (and potentially 2018). He might be wrong. But he’s paid to make those calls. And he made the call. Pretty simple.

Boras did what he does

Maybe Wieters’ agent, Scott Boras, didn’t win this one, but, ultimately, he didn’t lose it either. Wieters didn’t get a five-year, $85 million deal like Brian McCann in 2013 or a five-year, $82 million deal like Russell Martin in 2014. But Wieters also didn’t have to settle for a one-year deal either, like many thought he would once his unemployment dragged into February.

In fact, Wieters still ended up with a contract worth more annually (albeit one-year shorter) than what Jason Castro, poster boy for pitch framing, received from the Minnesota Twins (three years, $24.5 million) this offseason.

Boras knows how to read the market as well as anyone, and the sudden collapse of this offseason’s free agent carousel threw just about everyone off. But Boras rebounded by landing another client in a familiar environment: the deep pockets of the Nationals and aggressive GM Mike Rizzo. It certainly wasn’t Boras’ finest moment playing the free-agent market, but, in the end, he brokered a solid deal in a shaky landscape.

Why the catcher-heavy Nationals?

Wieters had been rumored to the Nationals for months, partially because of the relationship between Boras’ clients and the team, and also because the Nationals had some questions behind the plate despite having five catchers on their 40-man roster, including Derek Norris, Jose Lobaton and promising youngster Pedro Severino. Now, it looks like Norris may be dealt, Lobaton will settle in as the backup and Severino will wait his turn in the minors.

Another reason for the Nationals: They are an East Coast team, and that was always a preference for Wieters, who grew up in South Carolina and lives in Atlanta. The fact that the Nationals are technically a rival of the Orioles surely didn’t play into Wieters’ decision. And I’m not sure how much that resonates with the Orioles’ fan base, anyway. From what I culled from social media Tuesday, some fans are disappointed that he’s with the Nationals while most are just glad he didn’t land in the AL East and can still be watched locally.

That’s one of the questions I have for you today. But it’s really an open-ended query. I just want you to share a little. I’ll dim the lights.

Tap-In Question: It’s over, so what are your thoughts of Matt Wieters as a Washington National — and not a Baltimore Oriole for life?

 

 

47 Comments

47 Comments

  1. Creatively_19

    February 22, 2017 at 12:57 pm

    Well, after thinking he was gone at the end of 2015, and getting another year from him, I’m OK with this chapter ending for the Orioles. I think he’s a good catcher, and a good hitter. He came up with a bunch of clutch hits for the O’s in 2016, and I think its fair to say we wouldn’t have gotten to the post season without him. However for a catcher in his 30’s who’s blocked from moving to first by Davis, will require more time on the bench, and didn’t hit with incredible prowess or on base ability, (and lets not get into that pitch framing debate), the asking price from Boras was too much. DD made a prudent move when it didn’t look like Wieters was attainable, and Wieters got a good job on a great team. Hey, I’m happy for Wieters, but I’m happy for the O’s, and hopeful they can put that money back into the team by signing any number of our free agents to a long term deal. And who knows, maybe you’ll see me wearing my Wieters jersey to a Nats game this year.

    • Dan Connolly

      February 22, 2017 at 1:21 pm

      Always reasonable 19. Drink chip.

  2. Wade Warren

    February 22, 2017 at 1:11 pm

    great article. I don’t like the Nationals at all and wish Wieters was back as an O

  3. Wade Warren

    February 22, 2017 at 1:13 pm

    He will be missed. I don’t like Wellington’s decision to play in Wbc. Orioles should be his #1 priority.

    • Dan Connolly

      February 22, 2017 at 1:24 pm

      I’m throwing ya 2 drink chips Wade. And not just because you made two comments. You’ve been consistent in your desire to have Wieters remain an Oriole. I tried to warn ya, but I appreciated your enthusiasm.

  4. Boog Robinson Robinson

    February 22, 2017 at 1:17 pm

    Grrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr. It’s the only move that Duquette has made in his time here that I totally disagree with.

    Matt should have been made an Oriole for life. In my opinion, a catcher isn’t valued for his bat, but instead, what he does behind the plate and the way he handles a staff. How many great hitting catchers have there been? The proof of his value will most likely be in the way the pitchers react and perform this season. And PLEASE …. this “pitch framing” metric is one of the dumbest I’ve heard of. Is Gallardo gong to get the same respect as Kershaw by an umpire when calling balls and strikes? Are you going to put that on the catcher? Dan, I don’t think it’s that tough to argue a stupid stat like that. But I digress….

    There was once something called the “Oriole Way” around here. I truly believed Matt was and played in that mold. He was special, and for all those that cant’ see that, there’s a simple game called soccer you might want to try.

    Pitch framing ….. eeeeeeeeesh.

    • Dan Connolly

      February 22, 2017 at 1:26 pm

      And speaking of enthusiasm … you are right, Boog. Pitch framing is one stat I can argue with. Too. Many. Variables. Now, as for ripping soccer …

      • Boog Robinson Robinson

        February 22, 2017 at 2:06 pm

        My wife says I need to apologize to soccer fans everywhere. OK … I’m soooooooooooooo sorry.

    • justmestac

      February 22, 2017 at 2:13 pm

      Boog –
      You might want to work on coming across as a bit more contrite 🙂

      • Boog Robinson Robinson

        February 22, 2017 at 2:18 pm

        Moi? Not sincere?

        • Dan Connolly

          February 22, 2017 at 5:01 pm

          Hahaha. I’m enjoying this.

    • marcshank

      February 22, 2017 at 11:47 pm

      I agree with Boog. Wieters is going to work on his pitch framing with the Nationals. He’s also going to bounce back with the bat. I predict a respectable .275 -.280. No, I don’t want to see it happen, but I think his age was the main factor in losing him.

      Dan, I’d be interested if you think it was mainly Matt’s age.

    • justmestac

      February 23, 2017 at 9:33 am

      FWIW Boog, I agree with you about soccer. Now hockey, on the other hand… 🙂

      • Boog Robinson Robinson

        February 23, 2017 at 9:53 am

        Nothing wrong with a little puck time.

  5. bill-s

    February 22, 2017 at 1:29 pm

    My first reaction when I saw the contract value was surprise that Boras was able to get that much. I am not a fan of his, but he certainly does a great job for his clients.

    I agree that the biggest void Wieters leaves is in the clubhouse. Boog’s comments above about the Oriole way are spot on. The fact that Buck wanted to keep him says much. And Cal Sr. is surely spinning in his grave.

    All of which brings me to my main point: This is a make-or-break decision for Duquette. If Castillo delivers, Duq is a genius. But if he can’t cut it in the AL East or with these pitchers, Duquette will have a very hard time continuing in his role in Baltimore. He has made some good decisions over the years, and some awful ones. So far, they kind of balance out. This one will tip the scales for good in one direction or the other.

    • Dan Connolly

      February 22, 2017 at 1:41 pm

      I don’t think one decision will define his future, I think you always look at the bottom line. And that’s wins and losses. And, so far, Duquette hasn’t had a losing season in Baltimore. But with this team and payroll, he shouldn’t have a losing one in 2017. That’s where the rub — and the future evaluation comes in — more than one, isolated catching decision.

  6. justmestac

    February 22, 2017 at 1:45 pm

    I hate that he is no longer an Oriole. I think that he absolutely was a victim of the hype machine and the injury didn’t help. I agree with Boog, he should have been an Oriole for life, but then, I’m pretty sure you already knew that 🙂

    For Matt, I’m glad he got a good deal. I’m hoping he has a great season. I do like to watch the Nationals. Unlike many O’s fans, I’d probably consider them my second favorite team. So yeah, I’m excited to see Mad Max on the mound with Wieters behind the plate. I’m already making plans to head to ATL for a game or two.

    My friend that attends games with me when I am in town texted yesterday saying “I assume we will be adding Nationals Park to our itinerary this summer.” She knows me well . I won’t lie, I will more than likely cry that first time he is in the Visitor’s Dugout at OPACY.

    • Dan Connolly

      February 22, 2017 at 5:04 pm

      You can take the girl out of Goose Creek, but …. drink chip for sharing, (even though there usually is no crying in baseball or in the Tap Room).

    • justmestac

      February 22, 2017 at 7:56 pm

      Well, yeah there is the whole “no crying in baseball” thing. It is probably fortuitous that I will be watching the game from Goose Creek, instead of OPACY. I promise to not cry in the Tap Room…

  7. Marshall

    February 22, 2017 at 2:28 pm

    I think you’re spot on, Dan.

    I’ll miss seeing him out there. I’ll also need to get a new shirt to replace my Wieters “Thou Shalt Not Steal”.

    I wish him well and hope he has a great season.

    That “technically a rival” thing still gets me. There’s just nothing there…

    • Dan Connolly

      February 22, 2017 at 5:04 pm

      Yep. That’s why I throw in the technically.

  8. John in Cincy

    February 22, 2017 at 4:01 pm

    It’s good to see Matt finally sign with the Nationals & I hope he has a good year for them. That said, I’d have preferred it if the Orioles had brought him back even with Castillo, because I’m a bit nervous about how the new catcher’s going to do.

    Welington should be bonding with the pitching staff, but he’ll soon be off to play in the World Baseball Classic. Not good. Besides learning new pitchers in general, he has two young starters in Bundy & Gausman, who the Orioles hope will be taking a step up, but with Wieters gone, are they going to get comfortable throwing to Castillo? We’re permitted to hope, but that’s hardly a given.

    And what about Ubaldo? He was finally looking like a legitimate starter in September, but now he has a new pitching coach and new principle backstop. For a new catcher, of the O’s staff, I’d think Ubaldo would be one of the main ones that would require getting accustomed to with the strange delivery, ball movement, potential for wildness and balls in the dirt. Who knows? Maybe Castillo will be the one who really bonds with Jimenez. If he and McDowell can get Ubaldo consistently to rediscover his September form this spring, and help him carry it throughout the year, then I, for one, will be very pleased.

    So, while I’m nervous about Castillo, we’re still in February, so overreaction would be absurd. There’s plenty of optimism mixed in with the anxiety. (Sure miss Matt, but a solid Welington quickly can ease the pain of separation..)

    • Dan Connolly

      February 22, 2017 at 5:05 pm

      All makes sense. Nice post. Drink chip.

      • John in Cincy

        February 22, 2017 at 5:28 pm

        Thanks, Dan. Apologies for the overall sloppiness (e.g., “principle backstop”?), I try to edit as I go, but admit to being a little cursory at times.

        For the little it’s worth, you might be interested (or maybe not) in taking a look at an article I wrote back in the day for the Orlando Sentinel on a petition drive a friend was conducting to get Shoeless Joe Jackson in Hall of Fame. (I tried to keep my own pro-Joe bias out of the article as much as possible.) http://articles.orlandosentinel.com/1996-03-24/news/9603221630_1_shoeless-joe-joe-jackson-hall-of-fame

      • John in Cincy

        February 22, 2017 at 5:51 pm

        Dan, A note on my article, should you care to peruse. It was actually longer than it appears and included photos. Some of the editor’s deletions I can live with, but he or she really weakened the end (I hate when they do that–lol), where I’m talking about Jackson’s performance in the Series, because gone is the part where I actually noted what he did in the Fall Classic, batting .375 with the only home run hit by anyone to go along with 3 doubles, while playing a flawless left field.

        Those who nevertheless believe him guilty of being in on the fix argue that he strategically played well when his contributions weren’t needed, while conveniently failing to come through at critical moments. I confess to needing to study that more closely before coming down one way or another.

        • Dan Connolly

          February 22, 2017 at 10:44 pm

          John: I’ll definitely check it out when I get a chance. I love stuff like that. Fascinated by baseball history.

  9. Bancells Moustache

    February 22, 2017 at 8:23 pm

    Where are the legs with which you run,
    When first you went to carry a gun
    Indeed your dancing days are done
    Matty, I hardly knew ye

    This morning on 105.7 quite a few people sounded off that they would boo Wieters when he returned wearing the Walgreens red this summer. That is probably the stupidest thing I heard all day. The guy gave the Birds several solid years, his primary fault being that he didn’t live up to the hype the media and fans placed on him, mainly because he was the ONLY positive to talk about at that time. In fact, one could argue that the ascendance of Wieters to the big league club was the true genesis of this current and excellent era of Oriole baseball we are watching. Booing the guy? Come on now. If he signs in Boston or New York, definitely. Leaving, after not exactly having the welcome mat stretched out at the warehouse, to go to a team that no one really cares about (no matter how hard MASN and the media try to call it a “rivalry”)? That’s just silly. Now if you’ll excuse me, I have to carry a sobbing, inebriated Boog to a cab.

    • Dan Connolly

      February 22, 2017 at 10:45 pm

      Please get him home safely. And, yeah, booing seems ridiculous. To me, anyway.

    • Boog Robinson Robinson

      February 23, 2017 at 7:44 am

      You’re the bestcsh ‘Stache. Hic.

    • justmestac

      February 23, 2017 at 10:03 am

      I completely agree.

      While, in my opinion he fell victims to the hype machine, he did help with to bring about the era of baseball Orioles fans are currently enjoying. He was a leader in the clubhouse and has an amazing work ethic. I remember how excited my son was when Wieters came up. When things picked up with performance of the team, he had several heated “discussions” after his BoSox fan friends accused him of being a bandwagon jumper.

      Booing would be ridiculous. Wieters didn’t sign with Boston or NY. Even I would have been extremely unhappy about that and I’m a Goose Creek gal. Having had the privilege of watching him play from high school until now, I’ll always be a Wieters fan. Glad he made it easier by signing with a team I enjoy and appreciate watching.

  10. LarryBS

    February 23, 2017 at 2:13 am

    I’m too busy having an Arrieta-ish freakout about Christian Walker and have forgotten about Wieters. Hope that doesn’t come back to haunt. But seriously, I love those quiet leaders and hope Wieter’s absence in that regard doesn’t hurt the team too much.

    • Dan Connolly

      February 23, 2017 at 8:09 am

      I don’t think Walker is the hitter equivalent of Arrieta, But I do think he is a major leaguer.

    • justmestac

      February 23, 2017 at 10:12 am

      I still try not to think too much about Arrieta. It does bad things to my blood pressure.

      Dan – I agree with your assessment of Walker.

  11. OsFanStuckInNY

    February 23, 2017 at 7:29 am

    Would I rather have Wieters for his entire career, or Machado? Or Tillman? Or Britton? As much as I respect what Wieters has done & can do (especially those late inning homers), if you save a few million here and a few million there, sooner or later you might have some money to spend.
    Now if Cisco turns out to be a bust…

    In any case, I’m expecting Castillo to do as well or better offensively. Defensively the same, over all (often not impressed by Wieters last season.)

    Leadership: sometimes a team is actually better after a leader is gone — the lessons remain and there is redoubled effort to produce to make us for the absence.

    Most surprising in this whole thing? That Boras managed to sink even lower in my “estimation.” Wasn’t it Shakespeare who wrote, ”The first thing we do, let’s kill all the agents,” Dick the Butcher in ”Henry VI,” Part II, act IV, Scene II, Line 73.

    • Boog Robinson Robinson

      February 23, 2017 at 7:47 am

      I thought it was Neil Sedaka wrote that?
      .

      “Often not impressed by Wieters last year”? Blasphemer!

    • Dan Connolly

      February 23, 2017 at 8:14 am

      I’m with ya to a point. I feel like the 2015 really suffered without the leadership of Markakis and Cruz. Trumbo provided some of that in 16, but that’s where I’m most concerned about Wieters’ departure. Jones/Trumbo can’t do it all — or mostly, anyway. At least w position players. … And no Sedaka in this joint. We’re not getting that share-y.

  12. mike3764

    February 23, 2017 at 8:55 am

    Its funny. I knew Wieters was gone before we signed Castillo. The Orioles Team Store in York had all of his t-shirts in the clearance rack. Trumbo’s were not…and he was still unsigned at the time! All kidding aside, Matt Wieters was a better than average dependable catcher. I heard Jim Palmer complain about pitch selection a few times last year on the broadcast and seemed to place that on Wieters. His teammates liked him. He gave Davis crap for a very good reason – we could have gone further in that postseason had he done things right.

    He certainly came in with a lot of hype. As others have said, first base is blocked (what the heck are they going to do with Walker and Mancini by the way?). He is going to show signs of breaking down physically behind the plate (especially if he is overused in Washington) because he is a big guy. Castillo is younger, with similar stats, and costed us much less. Wieters’ biggest problem going into free agency was his agent…who mis-read the market. Besides changing uniforms, he should change agents upon his arrival in DC…I wish him the best.

  13. rebusgadfly

    February 23, 2017 at 10:48 am

    Sorry, I am late to the bar….I got adult kid issues. I love them, but their mistakes now cost me more money and effects life issues so much more. Same with baseball as a ballplayer matures more is expected of him and not living up to the hype or expectaions cost the parents/club/ GM more harshly in the realm of public opinion. I liked Wieters as a person, but I rather have our pot of money go out to Machado, Britton and Schoop than Wieters. ( sorry Boog… I know blasphemy…I’ll say five hail Brooks and one Our Weaver in penance)

  14. douglasmintz

    February 23, 2017 at 11:56 am

    Boras didnt read the market well at all.

    At minimum, if he had understood the market, Wieters could have signed here at that price in November. Could Wieters have gotten 2 yrs/$21 guaranteed plus the same option for year three if they hadn’t been pushing for four or five years all winter? I don’t know, but given what Castro got, that would have been a much better read of the market — and probably a better result for the client.

    In the end, his old standby had to bail him out — barely…. So I’m sure he knew he had that in his back pocket. But this is the worst case scenario for Boras (and Wieters) — at least economically. It was never going to be one year flat. Not after castillo signed for one plus option…. So boras utterly failed his client — as he often does. At least Wieters got to stay close to Bmore — which i suspect he likes. Good luck Matt!

    • Boog Robinson Robinson

      February 23, 2017 at 12:07 pm

      Good point(s) on Boras. I’m inclined to agree after reading you.

    • justmestac

      February 23, 2017 at 1:39 pm

      Probably an accurate take on the situation.

  15. woody

    February 24, 2017 at 3:46 am

    Firstly i’d bet that the O’s put a far better offer on the table for Matt than he’s taken with the Nats. Nobody expected him to go this cheaply and i’m sure that if the Wieters camp had been agreeable to these numbers in November, he’d still be an Oriole.

    Now moving forward… though I liked Matt as a player he didn’t offer much with the bat last year other than in some really clutch situations which was his saving grace. He also struggled to throw out runners for much of the season due to his shoulder injury, and although the injuries excuse some of his dip last year, injuries are a part of the game for a catcher – its not like all of the other comparable catchers are playing 100% fit. People say he calls a great game from behind the plate – I didn’t see him make any of our woeful rotation look anything better than woeful so i’m not buying into that either btw.

    I’m looking forward this year to Caleb getting some more time behind the plate. He’s a good catcher and suffered offensively last year through THAT injury (who wouldnt) and most importantly due to lack of playing time. I hope that Castillo and Joseph split the duties a bit more evenly than we’d have seen with Wieters/Joseph – you gain tremendously from fresher catchers and your backup catcher being more tuned up offensively and maybe even able to offer something in a pinch hit situation – something that almost every backup catcher everywhere else seems to do. And finally – not having an all star behind the plate opens the door to the development of Cisco – arguably the long term benefits of this alone (let alone cash considerations) pays for the small down tick behind the plate this year.

  16. bigdaddydk

    February 24, 2017 at 6:16 am

    My view on this now is that I’m glad it’s finally settled. I don’t mind him playing in Washington. I wish him well and hope he has a great season there. He’s certainly going to be catching better pitchers from top to bottom of the rotation, which will probably give him a boost in defensive metrics. I suspect that he’ll look pretty much the same at the plate, and as for those clutch hits I wonder how many of them would have been necessary with more consistent production throughout the season to begin with. A few hits in non-clutch situations can mean the difference between late-inning hitting heroics and a call to the bullpen for Britton to close it out.

    I like Wieters and I think he was a victim of 1) being overhyped on his way up, and 2) being overhyped by his agent with comparisons (Carlton Fisk?) that just don’t work. He is, in my opinion, a second-tier MLB starting catcher — let’s face it, he’s not Buster Posey, Yadier Molina, or Jonathan Lucroy — so he’ll be a value addition to wherever he plays. Veteran leaders are valuable too. I see the O’s with Jones, Machado, Davis, Trumbo, and Hardy and I cannot help but think that the aforementioned leadership is there. This decision, at the end, was a dollars and cents decision. A catcher with similar defensive numbers and better offensive production for slightly more than half the price on a similarly structured contract? That’s a DD no-brainer.

  17. RobbyAtThird

    February 24, 2017 at 8:03 am

    Perhaps we expected too much from Wieters, given the hype of his ascension in the Minors and his arrival in Baltimore, but I believe that Wieters lived up to the hype and more. I agree with other readers that he was a strong presence in the clubhouse and provided value to the club that cannot be measured by stats and Sabermetrics. His calm and controlled presence had to be a benefit to a pitching staff that, at times, was consistently uncontrolled and just trying to find their place while pitching in a very tough division. Buck always talks about the intangible value of trust that he has for his players. I believe he trusted Wieters as much or more than any other Oriole.

    I am really disappointed in the Orioles for letting Wieters escape… it reminds me of the way I felt when both Markakis and Cruz were allowed to leave for greener pastures. Solid Major League talents like Wieters, Markakis, and Cruz are hard to come by and they shouldn’t be allowed to leave without some attempt at keeping them on board. Baseball can be a cruel business at times, and I think we are seeing some of its ugliness with Matt’s departure.

    • Steve Cockey

      February 25, 2017 at 10:34 am

      Nice comment, Robbie. I too am sad to see Wieters go. It’s certainly understandable that the O’s didn’t want to wait around until late February to address the catching situation. So I can’t really blame them for moving on. There’s no way Boras would’ve taken this type of deal in November or December.

      But, given that Wieters and Castillo received basically the same contract structure (2 years with the ability to leave after 1) and only $8 million difference in total money, I’d much rather have Matt. And I’m sure many O’s folks feel the same. Add in the fact that $5 million of Wieters’ money is deferred, and you could argue that the contracts are even closer.

  18. tmac058

    February 24, 2017 at 12:00 pm

    I have a friend that is a Nats fan and he texted me as soon as the news broke that Wieters was signing with the Nationals. I tried to tell him that he would soon understand the frustration of Weiters hitting into a 4-6-3 double play, but my next text read, “I feel like my girlfriend is breaking up with me to start dating you. I want to tell you how terrible she is, but I just can’t because the truth is, she is awesome and we had some great times together.” As weird as it will be to see Wieters wearing a Nats uniform, he was a vital part in bringing winning back to Baltimore, so for that I will always be grateful.

  19. jajosfan

    February 24, 2017 at 6:00 pm

    I think double D made a mistake. Matty should have been an Oriole until his retirement. Maybe he’ll opt out next year and DD will bring him back

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