BALTIMORE –- Matt Wieters isn’t surprised to be back with the Orioles. Surprisingly to others, Wieters took the $15.8 million qualifying offer, and he’ll return to the Orioles for the 2016 season.
“If you asked me going into the offseason, always hoped to be back, didn’t know what the decision was going to be, very grateful that I was able to make a decision seven days after the season and take a little bit of stress off the offseason,” Wieters said at Saturday’s FanFest.
Now, Wieters can be a free agent again after next season, when he’ll be more than two years removed from Tommy John surgery.
“We’ll worry about next offseason, next offseason, but excited to be two years removed from surgery,” Wieters said. “Hopefully [to] be able to play as many games as possible.”
Wieters was warmly greeted by the fans, he said.
“I was not a Baltimore Oriole for all of seven days and got a lot of ‘welcome backs,’” Wieters said.
He said the decision to be among the first to accept the qualifying offer in its fourth season was not a difficult one.
“What’s wrong with being back in Baltimore where we’ve been for seven years?” Wieters said.
“Once I got the idea out of my head where free agency is so great, which it is, it’s great for players, but at the same time, what’s the best situation for me and my family.”
When he sees how much money has been paid to free agents, he still doesn’t question his decision.
“I’m not getting paid too poorly for this year,” Wieters joked.
Because Wieters is coming back and anticipating catching a full schedule, Caleb Joseph won’t catch as often. Wieters and Joseph are close friends, and the veteran didn’t want to hurt Joseph’s feelings.
“I actually called him before and asked him if he was OK. I called him because I wanted to let him know that me coming back doesn’t mean I didn’t think he was a capable everyday big league catcher,” Joseph said.
Wieters recently visited with Davis, but didn’t try to convince him to return here.
“As players, we selfishly want him back, and at the same time, we want him to have what he wants for his family and set him up well,” Wieters said.
MORE ORIOLES: Jones says Orioles management have listened