On the surface, a pairing between the Atlanta Braves and free agent catcher Matt Wieters looks like it would make a lot of sense. Wieters is a local product having played in college at Georgia Tech. He is also a left handed catcher of which the Braves were reportedly in the market for to pair with Tyler Flowers.
However, Wieters is a Scott Boras client and figures to have a substantial price tag attached to him and that seems to be a problem for the Braves who up to this point have not shown much interest in Wieters. That could be changing though.
Wieters’ market hasn’t really developed this offseason and ESPN’s Jim Bowden suggests that the Braves do indeed have interest in the veteran backstop.
Matt Wieters remains on the Atlanta Braves target list according to a club source. https://t.co/sl0wntiyVR— Jim Bowden (@JimBowden_ESPN) December 25, 2016
John Coppolella #Braves GM on Wieters: “Matt is a talented player, It would come down to price and years." Price and years are dropping btw— Jim Bowden (@JimBowden_ESPN) December 25, 2016
Wieters has long been viewed as being out of the Braves’ price range but that cost may be coming down. How far remains to be seen.
Wieters put up a .243/.302/.409 slash line and hit 17 home runs in 124 games for the Orioles this season. He threw out 23 of 66 base stealers in 2016 but has not been well-regarded as a pitch framer in quite some time.
Still, would the Braves consider bringing in Wieters on a short term deal? John Coppolella famously leaves no stone unturned and probably wouldn’t hesitate if he felt there was subsequent value in the signing.
It is also worth noting that this could also be a situation where Boras is using his friends in the media to try and drum up a market for Wieters. If the price tag is in fact dropping, then a market could develop.
Currently Tyler Flowers is Atlanta’s incumbent starter behind the plate and they also have Anthony Recker and Tuffy Gosewisch also on the 40-man roster. They have repeatedly said that they would like to have an upgrade at catcher but are also comfortable entering the season with Flowers and Recker.