Colby Rasmus has company.
Jon Heyman of CBSSports.com reports that Orioles catcher Matt Wieters is also accepting the one-year, $15.8 million qualifying offer, returning to Baltimore for 2016 rather than testing the open market as a free agent.
This is a much bigger surprise than Rasmus accepting the qualifying offer from the Astros, because the general consensus seemed to be that Wieters was set to cash in pretty big as the clear-cut best catcher available at 30.
However, he did miss most of 2014 and half of this year following Tommy John elbow surgery, so perhaps Wieters is banking on a healthy, productive 2016 campaign allowing him to hit the open market again next offseason with a much bigger demand.
Whatever the case, the Orioles have to be pretty happy about retaining an All-Star caliber catcher for a one-year commitment and a whole bunch of teams hoping to lure Wieters away from Baltimore are scrambling for other catching plans.
The Reds announced on Wednesday that the club and pitcher Raisel Iglesias agreed to a three-year contract. Iglesias had been on a seven-year, $27 million contract signed in June 2014 and had two years with $10 million remaining. According to MLB.com’s Mark Feinsand, the new contract is worth $24.125 million, so it’s a hefty pay raise for Iglesias.
Iglesias, who turns 29 years old in January, has gotten better every season pitching out of the Reds’ bullpen. In 2018, he posted a 2.38 ERA with 30 saves and an 80/25 K/BB ratio in 72 innings. Over his four-year career, the right-hander has 64 saves with a 2.97 ERA and a 359/106 K/BB ratio in 321 2/3 innings.
Iglesias gets little fanfare pitching for the Reds, fifth-place finishers in each of his four years, but he is certainly among baseball’s better relievers. Signing him to a new three-year deal gives them some certainty at the back of the bullpen in the near future.
There was a bit of confusion regarding his previous contract, which allowed him to opt out and file for arbitration if eligible. Iglesias has three years and 154 days of service time, so his new contract essentially covers his arbitration-eligible years.