The Baltimore Orioles are reportedly not likely to extend a one-year, $17.2 million qualifying offer to catcher Matt Wieters, according to Jon Heyman of Today's Knuckleball. The deadline for a team to extend a qualifying offer to a player is at 5:00 p.m. ET today, so their decision is not set in stone.
The 30-year-old catcher became the first person to ever accept a qualifying offer when he did so last November. Last year's qualifying offer was valued at only $15.8 million, though. He did so after missing most of the first half of the season when he was recovering from Tommy John surgery.
With him likely hitting the free agent market, unless the Orioles decide before tonight to offer him a qualifying offer, he would enter a thin catching market which features Wilson Ramos — out after having knee surgery until summer — and him. Both were named to their respective All-Star teams this past summer, as it was the first of Ramos' career.
According to Dave O'Brien of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, the Atlanta Braves are interested in signing the veteran backstop, if he hits free agency. Wieters will definitely be appealing to a young Braves' team, due to the fact that he played college ball at Georgia Tech, does not come attached with a loss of a draft pick (if he does not recieve a qualfiying offer) and can handle a young pitching staff.
In 124 games played this season with the O's, Wieters managed to slash .243/.302/.409 (87 OPS+) over 464 plate appearances, along with 17 home runs, 17 doubles, one triple and 66 runs batted in. Over his eight-year major-league career with Baltimore, he owns a .256/.318/.421 slash line, along with 117 home runs and 437 runs batted in.