There are several things we know about the Rays' interest in Matt Wieters, the former Orioles star catcher who surprisingly — check mlbtraderumors.com — yep, remains unsigned as camps open: First, and most important, is the Rays are serious enough to have made an offer, likely for one year and certainly for millions of dollars less than what Wieters and agent Scott Boras are seeking. Another is they believe they provide a great fit for Wieters. With the Rays, Wieters, 30, would have the chance to be the primary catcher but wouldn't be overused and have designated-hitter at-bats available; to stay in the familiar American League East (with 19 dates for potential revenge versus the O's); to sign a one-year deal for the opportunity to build value for a 2018 run at free agency in which he would have the benefit of/credit for catching a really good staff; and to play close to his Atlanta-area home, with the usual Florida tax benefits. Also, the Rays could use him. Wieters has his flaws, including poor pitch-framing. But his experience handling pitchers, his reputation for strong defensive skills and his ability to hit homers from both sides of the plate make him a considerable upgrade from the trio of Curt Casali, Luke Maile and Jesus Sucre the Rays will be using until/if Wilson Ramos recovers enough from offseason knee surgery to get behind the plate come July or later.
A Rays deal with Matt Wieters makes sense — at the right price
Tampa Bay Times | Feb 16