Orioles rumors: "Willing to trade" Matt Wieters, according to report

Al Messerschmidt

Ken Rosenthal of Fox Sports reports that the Orioles are "willing to trade" Matt Wieters, who has two years left before he's a free agent. Would it be a good idea? Depends on the deal.

On the heels of the earlier rumor that the Orioles offered up J.J. Hardy to the Cardinals for Shelby Miller, we now have this tantalizing tidbit from Ken Rosenthal of Fox Sports:

Stacey wrote on Monday about whether the Orioles should look into trading Matt Wieters. Now we have a very small rumor, nothing linked to any team or specific players. Just a note that the Orioles are willing to trade Wieters.

As with all baseball rumors, remember the standard rule: It will probably amount to nothing. The Orioles probably won't trade Wieters. But all rumors mean nothing until they suddenly mean something. A catcher who does well at throwing out runners and has some power besides, Wieters is nothing to scoff at in the current baseball landscape. There are teams who should very much want two years of Wieters.

The Orioles are past the point where they "need" to trade a player like Wieters out of desperation. We are no longer in the days where there's no way the Orioles will compete in the next two years, so what good does it do to have two years of Wieters? The Orioles were in the playoffs two seasons ago. They were in the race until September this season. Wieters, even if he never lived up to the hype, is an important player for the Orioles.

If they trade Wieters, then their catching situation is suddenly thrown into disarray. Much as Wieters is disappointing, there's not anyone better out there for the near-term. Or do you want to give up a draft pick for sworn Fun Police officer Brian McCann? Drop some dough on Jarrod Saltalamacchia, who, as a free agent, will have other suitors? Would they go to war with local kid Steve Clevenger? More likely, some random veteran backup, the most Gregg Zaun-like player on the market, would become the starter.

It's a downgrade for the team in 2014, but if the right deal comes along that helps with the pitching situation in the long-term, it could be a good deal for the Orioles on the whole. They won't be getting any of that Cardinals pitching for Wieters, since they have Yadier Molina, but someone out there might have young pitching and want Wieters. After the year Wieters had, a trade at this point may be selling low, but it is worth exploring. You never know what a team will offer until they know they can get a certain player. Maybe the Orioles wanted to see who else would come calling without having to contact 28 other teams themselves.

Probably nothing will happen, though. That is the nature of baseball rumors. Remember when the Orioles were willing to trade Dylan Bundy at the 2013 trade deadline? That was a good time.

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