Former Baltimore Orioles catcher Matt Wieters Joins St. Louis Cardinals
Former Baltimore Orioles catcher Matt Wieters reportedly has a new home.
Per Derrick Goold of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, the St. Louis Cardinals have reportedly reached an agreement with former Baltimore Orioles catcher Matt Wieters. Details of the contract have yet to be released at the time of this writing, but it is said to be a minor league deal.
The 32-year-old catcher joins his third organization after playing eight seasons with the Baltimore Orioles and two with the Washington Nationals.
Wieters, a four-time All-Star and two-time Gold Glove Award winner, appeared in 76 games last season with the Nationals, posting a .238/.330/.374 batting line with eight home runs and a .704 OPS.
Although he appeared in nearly 50 fewer games compared to his first season in Washington (2017), Wieters improved in nearly every offensive metric and showed improvements on defense, including a big jump in his pitch framing metrics. His -3.7 framing runs in 2018 wasn’t great, but much improved over his -11.2 framing runs in 2017.
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Some viewed Wieters as a potential offseason target for the Orioles, a franchise in need of a veteran catcher this season. Instead, Baltimore signed veterans Carlos Perez and Jesus Sucre to minor league deals with invitations to spring training. Neither backstop has put up much offensive production in their major league tenures, but both bring noted defensive abilities to a roster with only Chance Sisco and Austin Wynns.
Wieters was a fan favorite during his tenure with the Baltimore Orioles, but moving on from the oft-injured catcher has proven to be the right decision for this franchise. Former teammates and managers have applauded his ability to call a game from behind the plate, a skill he will now take with him to St. Louis.
Taking a quick glance at the St. Louis Cardinals depth chart behind Yadier Molina, Wieters will be in competition with fellow former Baltimore Orioles catcher Francisco Pena for the backup job.
Over his 10-year career, Wieters is a .251 hitter with a .315 OBP, 135 home runs, 185 doubles, and a career 18.4 fWAR. We wish him the best of luck in his latest journey.