Pay The Man: Orioles Should Offer Wieters Long-Term Deal

April 12, 2012 | Joe Giglio

So, what would it take to get a deal done and who would benefit? Using the extension received by Indians catcher Carlos Santana this week (5yr/21mil) we have a baseline for a young, switch-hitting catcher. Santana’s deal bought out his arbitration years and his first potential year of free agency. If Baltimore were to present that type of contract to Wieters, it would probably have to be in the 4yr/26 mil range.

The money up front would be a risk for Duquette and the new front office because Wieters could regress or become injury prone or stop working hard. But if they believe in their catcher, they’ll view it as a huge financial savings. It’s not inconceivable that Wieters — already an American League All-Star and off to a scorching start in 2012 (.364/.440/.682) — could earn over $40 million between arbitration and his first free agent year. Therefore, it would also be a risk for the player. This is why the kid hired Scott Boras out of Georgia Tech. They’ll determine what he’s worth, but if he’s willing to opt for security over the pursuit of arbitration figures, this is a deal that must happen.

What do you think? Should the Orioles attempt to lock-up Matt Wieters long term?

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