This past winter, the Birds moved on from their longstanding relationship with catcher Matt Wieters by signing Wellington Castillo to a one-year deal. Now, they’ll have the chance to reunite with him on the field every time they match up against the Washington Nationals.
ESPN, by way of FanRag Sports, reported today that the Nats and Wieters have reached a lucrative short-term deal worth $21 million over two years, with $5 million deferred and an opt-out clause after the first season. He just needs to pass his physical to make it official.
Wieters, 30, excelled during his eight years with the O’s, hitting 117 home runs and 437 RBIs with a .256 batting average. In the process, he won two Golden Glove awards and made the MLB All-Star Game four times.
His play was limited at points by an elbow injury, however. After playing just 26 games with the Orioles in 2014, he underwent Tommy John Surgery. His was out for most of the 2014 season and the first two months of his 2015 season.
Still, he had a glorious end to his run with the team last year, hitting 17 home runs over the course of the 2016 season and pushing his team into the playoffs by hitting two home runs in their final game, thus helping them secure a Wild Card berth. (We know how the rest went.)
This offseason, the Orioles decided not to extend a qualifying offer to Wieters, opting instead to sign Wellington Castillo to a cheaper one-year contract. Now, Wieters will be replacing the Nats’ Wilson Ramos, who signed a two-year deal as a free agent with the Tampa Bay Rays in December.
Wieters will face off against his old team for the first time on May 8, when the Nats come to Camden Yards.
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