Sep 28, 2013; Baltimore, MD, USA; Baltimore Orioles catcher Matt Wieters (32) hits a one-run rbi single in the fifth inning against the Boston Red Sox at Oriole Park at Camden Yards. The Orioles defeated the Red Sox 6-5. Mandatory Credit: Joy R. Absalon-USA TODAY Sports

Sox Trade Target: Matt Wieters?

According to Ken Rosenthal, the Orioles are reportedly willing to deal 2-time All Star catcher, Matt Wieters. With the hole that has been vacated by Jarrod Saltalamacchia, could the Sox be in play?

Wieters is coming off a down year and is due to hit free agency after the 2015 season. However, he is advised by Scott Boras and is therefore unlikely to sign an extension before testing the waters.Wieters had a solid, yet subpar year at .235/.287/.417 with 22 home runs after two straight seasons in which he received All Star nods. The Orioles are reportedly in the market for another catcher as it is, so they could move Wieters and signing a starting guy, like Saltalamacchia or Carlos Ruiz to fill his shoes.

The Red Sox, in need of a starter, could turn to Baltimore to pick up the 27-year-old switch hitter. The Orioles would likely demand significantly more from a division rival for Wieters, though Boston has one of the top farm systems in the game, so they probably have the ability to meet the Orioles demands. Selling low on one of the Game’s top catchers probably isn’t advisable, but with Boras in the fold, the O’s don’t have tons of leverage and would be wise to make a move.

The Red Sox could probably entice the Orioles with a package that started with Felix Doubront. Following the lefty, the Sox could offer Ryan Lavarnway, whose ship has seemingly sailed with Boston, as well as two of Michael Almanzar, Keith Couch and/or Chris Hernandez, all of whom are rule V draft eligible and may not have a place on Boston’s 40-man roster ahead of the draft.

Tags: Boston Red Sox

  • John Fahrer

    Would be really surprised if the two sides even have a discussion. The O’s would definitely want a hefty return. But dealing your catcher to a division rival is never wise as he could give advanced scouting reports on the O’s pitchers to the Sox hitters.

  • Earl Nash

    I think Ben may settle for starting with Laranway…

    • John Fahrer

      Doubt it. Though it’s more realistic than acquiring Weiters from a division rival.

      The fact that Lavarnway was up for over two months this season while Ross was on the 60 Day DL and only caught 22 games shows how little he’s trusted behind the plate. And in those 22 games he gave up 25 SB while throwing out only 6 (only 19% and 7% below the league average). Also had 6 passed balls and 8 wild pitches in those 22 games. There’s no way he’s getting the job.
      His career OPS is also only .585 and his ability to hit the long ball has declined since 2011 which is alarming. He had his chances to grab the job and run away with it but he failed. His best hope is to be dealt to a rebuilding team with a need at DH.

      • Earl Nash

        All points well taken. I was taking a contrarian approach and wondering if it is time to give Lavarnway his “shot,” rather than chase an expensive FA.
        Ryan is a Yale grad and “smart” and I wonder if some lessons on defense and hitting would improve him to MLB level.

        I expect he will still go for Ruiz.

        • John Fahrer

          It’s not as if the guy hasn’t been working with the hitting coach or catching instructor. He pretty much is what he is at this point: a mediocre catcher with slow reactions and fading power.

          Wouldn’t look too much into academic pedigree in terms of being able to physically get the job done on the field. The guy who finished second and is regarded as the best complete player in the game only has a high school diploma while the guy who won didn’t even finish high school.

          Ruiz would be interesting. Wonder if they’d actually prefer to have a catcher who can hit from the left side since they already have one who hits from the right side.