Former Baltimore Orioles catcher Matt Wieters is going back to St. Louis in 2020.
The Cardinals are giving Wieters $2 million for the 2020 season, with up to $1 million in incentives added to the deal. He had to wait until February 27th to find a job last offseason, finally agreeing to a minor league deal with St. Louis.
Wieters appeared in 67 games in 2019, slashing .214/.268/.435 with 11 home runs as Yadier Molina‘s backup, filling in nicely when Molina went down with injuries, enough to earn at least $2 million this season to act as Molina’s backup, once again.
He had his best month in July, hitting five home runs with an .842 OPS and a wRC+ of 114 in 17 games, but was up and down at the plate for the rest of the season, finishing 2019 with a wRC+ of 81.
Despite his up and down performance at the plate since his early days with the Baltimore Orioles, Wieters’ 11 seasons of major league experience and switch-hitting abilities have kept teams interested in the four-time MLB All-Star and two-time Gold Glove winner.
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Both the Oakland Athletics and Colorado Rockies were connected with Wieters at various points this offseason. He likely could have competed for a starting job with the A’s who currently have Sean Murphy, Austin Allen, and former Orioles prospect Jonah Heim as the catchers on their 40-man roster, but Wieters will return to St. Louis, who enters 2020 with a solid 1-2 combination of Molina and Wieters.
Across his 11 seasons, Matt Wieters owns a .250/.313/.411 slash line with 146 home runs, 189 doubles, and 989 total hits in 1,148 games played. Behind the plate, he’s thrown out 32% of base stealers and has allowed just 28 passed balls. Of the 27 catchers who have logged at least 5,000 innings since Wieters made his MLB debut, only Buster Posey has fewer passed balls to this credit (25 PB in more than 500 fewer innings.)
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