Kubatko writes that some people in the organization think it is a win-win. I have to agree.
If Wieters accepts, as he did a season ago, the Orioles pay him $17.2 million in 2017. If he doesn’t, and signs elsewhere, the Birds will get a much needed compensatory draft pick.
Should Wieters leave, the catchers who would be in the running for the starting job are Caleb Joseph, who notably did not record a RBI last year and slashed .174/.216/.197 in 49 games, and Chance Sisco, who is just 21 years old and has played four games above the Double-A level.
Sisco, who is the Orioles top prospect according to many, is a hitting machine with questionable defense. Sound familiar? At Bowie, Sisco hit .320/.406/.422 over 112 games last season.
Personally, I’m not a huge fan of handing over a questionable big league pitching staff over to Sisco out of Spring Training. He needs to develop his defensive skills, which according to scouts, are getting better. Let Sisco continue to improve behind in the plate in the minors for another season and call him up in August or September for a cup of coffee.
Joseph is viewed as an above average defender behind the plate, but his struggles in 2016 following a brutal injury make him too much of a risk to become the full time replacement for Wieters.
Or the Orioles could sign a stop-gap free agent if Wieters decides to leave. Kubatko floated names like former Oriole Nick Hundley and Jason Castro, who would be cheap, provide little offense, but give Sisco a chance to develop for another season.
Another catcher of potential interest is former first-round pick Jason Castro, a career .232/.309/.390 hitter in six seasons with the Astros. He made the All-Star team in 2013 and batted .276/.350/.485 with 35 doubles and 18 home runs in 120 games.
Castro, who has some supporters in the Orioles organization, earned $5 million this season after losing his arbitration hearing. He threw out only 24 percent of runners attempting to steal, down from 36 percent the previous season.
So the question is, does Wieters and his agent, Scott Boras even accept a QO if one is offered? I truly don’t think he had a season that would have teams clamoring for his average bat and poor defense.
But, I’ve been wrong before.