I said on Wednesday’s show the Orioles only have two players I would truly deem “untouchable” — Adam Jones and Manny Machado.
Granted, both of those players have warts. Jones is still a streaky hitter who has a tendency to go weeks at a time swinging at bad pitches and Machado is a great defensive player but only a good offensive player at this point. Still, I wouldn’t trade either of them for anything, unless his name sounded a lot like Clayton Kershaw or Miguel Cabrera.
Matt Wieters is a trade commodity for a variety of reasons. FOX Sports’ Ken Rosenthal reported yesterday that the Birds are open to trading Wieters. And they should be. But, they shouldn’t trade him just because they haven’t yet been able to re-sign him. That’s a typical Orioles move, frankly. They low ball a guy, he doesn’t take it…they up their low-ball offer the next year…he doesn’t take it. And then they say, “OK, well, we’ll trade him.”
That’s the wrong approach.
Of course, the words “wrong approach” and “Orioles” collide in the same sentence a lot.
In this case, the Orioles are using the right approach if they think they can fleece a team for Wieters…but that shouldn’t be connected with their ability to sign him to a new deal. If they want Wieters on their team for the long-term, they should make every attempt to sign him to a REAL contract.
Folks who follow baseball will say, “No, Drew, Scott Boras won’t let Wieters sign now.” That, my friends, is a bunch of baloney. Scott Boras doesn’t OWN Matt Wieters. He REPRESENTS him. If the Orioles called Scott Boras right now and said, “Name your price and Wieters can stay” – just as a function of sniffing out the real scenario — Boras would call you back and say, “We’ll be there in 30 minutes.”
This silly notion that Boras won’t “let” Wieters sign in Baltimore is absurd. Wieters owns his rights…Boras doesn’t. The Orioles have admittedly tried twice to sign Wieters and failed. But, Wieters and Boras didn’t say, “Don’t call us again…we’re not signing for any amount until Matt becomes a free agent.” They said, “No, that offer isn’t good enough. Thanks anyway.”
Adam Jones is a perfect example of the agent not “owning” the player. His agent surely advised hit to NOT re-sign in Baltimore last summer. His agent, I’m certain, reminded him he’d cash in, big-time, if he just played out the string and became a free agent. Jones, though, simply said, “You know what, I think I can live on $85 million and I love the franchise and I love Baltimore…I think I’ll sign now and get this over with.”
Wieters would sign here if the money was right. And, by the way, I’m not suggesting the Orioles should back up the Brinks Truck for him. Not at all.
Personally, I’d trade Wieters because I think he’s basically a decent offensive player that could fetch a nice return from a team looking to upgrade their own catching position and grab one of the game’s best defensive players at any position at the same time.
As I said last week: Name the four catchers who were in the respective championship series’ last month. Quickly now — who’s the catcher in Los Angeles? In Detroit? In Boston? In St. Louis? You probably know the Molina kid with the Cardinals. He’s the best catcher in baseball right now. Other than that…right…it’s a position that doesn’t jump out at you.
Let’s not blame this Orioles-Wieters drama on Scott Boras.
Two people are involved in this and two people only.
Matt Wieters. And the Orioles.
If the Orioles want Wieters to stay, they can make that happen with a boatload of money.
If Wieters wants to sign here, he’ll take it.
If Wieters wants to leave Baltimore, he’ll keep saying what he’s been saying: No thanks.
But, please, don’t blame this on Scott Boras.
Blame it on the Orioles. And Matt Wieters.