February approaches, which means pitchers and catchers will soon en0ugh begin reporting. Speaking of catchers, one very notable one -- Matt Wieters, formerly of the Orioles -- remains unsigned.
Wieters isn't regarded as a premium defender, but he does have a solid bat by positional standards. For his career, he's hit .256/.318/.421 (98 OPS+) across parts of eight big-league seasons. Over that span, he's averaged 21 home runs per 162 games played. Going into his age-31 season, Wieters should still have modest near- to mid-term value.
As noted recently by my colleague Mike Axisa in this space, the potential market for Wieters was dealt a blow when the Braves signed Kurt Suzuki. Now, though, things may be taking shape once again.
Tommy Stokke of FanRagSports reports that the Brewers may have interest in Wieters on a short-term contract. The Astros and Rays may also be angling for Wieters, writes Nick Cafardo of the Boston Globe.
The Brewers are of course just now coming out of a rebuild, so Wieters would probably serve as a veteran bridge and possible trade bait should he enjoy a productive first half. The Astros of course traded for Brian McCann earlier this offseason and still have Evan Gattis on the roster. Wieters, though, could absorb some innings behind the plate (McCann will soon turn 33) while also seeing time at first base and DH. As for the Rays, they signed Wilson Ramos, but his timetable and durability are in question after major knee surgery.
Others thought to have interest in Wieters include the Nationals and Angels. At this point, it's probably a matter of Wieters' financial expectations falling in line with the market for his services -- such as it is.