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.
Phillies outfielder Andrew McCutchen would have opened the regular season on the injured list if it had started on time. Now, with the start of the season pushed back at least a few months due to coronavirus (COVID-19), the veteran five-time All-Star says he will be “ready to go” whenever the season begins, he told NBC Sports Philadelphia.
McCutchen, 33, tore his ACL in early June, ending his 2019 campaign. To that point, he had been quite productive for the Phillies, batting .256/.378/.457 with 10 home runs and 29 RBI over 262 plate appearances. If and when the 2020 season does begin, he will likely reprise his role as the leadoff hitter, this time under new manager Joe Girardi.
2020 marks the second year of McCutchen’s three-year, $50 million contract initially signed with the Phillies in December 2018. The Phillies also hold a $15 million club option for the 2022 season with a $3 million buyout.