This week, the last of the better-hitting free agent position players found new homes, besides one. For some odd reason, Matt Wieters still remains unsigned. At the age of 30, Wieters is still one of the better offensive and defensive catchers in the game. Obviously, he has to have some negative points against him keeping him without a home. He’s only had one full season since his ACL tear in 2014. He also didn’t reach 20 home runs like he was consistently before the injury. Are these worthy enough factors to keep a team from signing the four-time All-Star catcher to a long-term deal? Eventually someone in this stalemate is going to have to give in. Most likely it will be Wieters but he’ll likely have to sign a smaller deal than he anticipated.
Here are the teams and situations that make the most sense in Wieters signing.
Tampa Bay Rays/ One-year deal
The Rays already added their catcher of the future this offseason when they signed Wilson Ramos to a two-year/$12.5 million deal. Ramos won’t be ready until midway through the year, due to his recovery from an ACL tear late last season. Tampa Bay already has a deep lineup, but Wieters’ bat would help out tremendously. Don’t forget he would at least fill in at catcher for half the season. Wieters would also provide insurance in case Ramos’ recovery doesn’t go as planned. It would be a small price to pay for a team like the Rays who could be in contention for a playoff spot.
Washington Nationals/ Two-year deal
Bryce Harper doesn’t hit free agency until 2019. The Nationals are the definition of the term “win-now.” Finding a way to win a World Series Championship should be the only thing on their mind. Wieters gives them a better chance compared to the current catchers on their roster. The switch-hitting Wieters would fit perfectly in the cleanup spot, providing protection for Harper for the next two seasons.
Atlanta Braves/ One-year deal
The Braves added a handful of veteran starters this offseason and a Wieters signing would fit right in. Atlanta is opening in a brand new stadium and being better than last in the National League East should be on their mind. Wieters is a better option than last year’s platoon catcher, Tyler Flowers. If all goes right for the Braves and with an addition of Wieters, it could very well help them compete for a Wild Card spot earlier than they expected.
Chicago White Sox/ One-year deal
Why would the White Sox consider this when they’ve been trading their best players? If that’s the question, then why did they sign starting pitcher Derek Holland to a one-year/$6 million deal? They could have used the spot on a prospect, giving them extra major league experience. If Holland has a great first half of the year Chicago has a perfect trade piece to gain even more prospects. Wieters could be used in the exact same way, with the possibility of bringing back better or even more prospects than Holland although Wieters would definitely cost a lot more. The longer Wieters goes without a home, the likelier a team like the White Sox jumps in to the conversation of signing him.
Harrison Howard covers the San Francisco Giants and Fantasy Baseball as a Staff Writer for OPSN. Follow him on Twitter @harryhoward54.