With many players already in Port St. Lucie for the Mets, the team looks complete for the most part. One of the few question marks is how catcher Travis D’Arnaud will fare after a very disappointing 2016 campaign. In a light market for catchers, one free agent still unsigned is longtime Oriole, Matt Wieters. With his price down immensely at this point as compared to November, this brings to question whether or not the Mets should consider attempting to sign him.
Despite the fact that he is a 4-time all-star and 2-time Golden Glove award winner, Wieters isn’t to be much more than slightly above average as a player by most teams. After being drafted 5th overall by the Orioles in the 2007 draft, he was expected to be a star player in the majors. While he hasn’t been inadequate, Wieters has been a bit of a disappointment for the Orioles, not being able to live up to the hype. In 8 MLB seasons, Wieters has hit .256, with a .318 on-base percentage and .421 slugging percentage. One common criticism he receives from his defense is that he doesn’t do well in framing pitches.
Despite his flaws, Wieters would be an upgrade over D’Arnaud from last season. Weiters has had 3 20-homer seasons, though playing in the hitter-friendly confines of Camden Yards may have contributed to some of that. It’s also worth noting that part of the reason as to why Wieters is still unsigned is because he is represented by super-agent Scott Boras. Another concern may be the fact that Wieters, like D’Arnaud, has been injury-prone throughout his major league career, even requiring Tommy John surgery in the middle of the 2014 season.
While Matt Wieters would provide a solid safety-net for the Mets in case D’Arnaud continues to underperform, I wouldn’t be willing to pay him more than $3.5 million for one year, similar to what the Yankees signed Chris Carter for. If he is asking for more, he wouldn’t be worth it for the Mets. The Mets need a catcher, but they don’t need one that badly.