Matt Wieters to take time off for more elbow problems

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UPDATE: An MRI exam showed no structural damage in Wieters’ surgically repaired elbow, so the Orioles will hope a little time off does the trick.

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Uh oh. Matt Wieters‘ elbow soreness has lingered long enough that the Orioles sent him to undergo an MRI exam, with Richard Justice of MLB.com reporting that the three-time All-Star catcher has already been told “a period of rest” is needed at the very least.

Elbow problems are worrisome for any catcher, but particularly with Wieters because he missed most of 2014 and a big chunk of 2015 following Tommy John surgery.

Wieters also bypassed the potential for multi-year offers as a free agent to return to the Orioles via the one-year, $15.8 million qualifying offer, clearly hoping that a healthy, productive 2016 season would lead to an even bigger payday next offseason.

In other words, both Wieters and the Orioles have a lot riding on the results of his MRI exam.

Giants making Brandon Belt available

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Bob Nightengale of USA Today reports that the Giants have made first baseman Brandon Belt available in a trade and says that several teams have expressed interest in him.

Which is kind of weird, really.

Belt turns 31 early next season. He hit .253/.342/.414 with 14 homers over 112 games last year due to a knee injury and time lost to an appendectomy. He has a history of concussions and has averaged only 115 games over the last five seasons. Oh, and makes $48 million over the next three years.

Yes, he could be a very useful player if healthy, but taking on that kind of money, even a part of that money, when many very affordable first base/DH options are out there on the market makes little sense to me. Matt Adams. Justin Bour. Lucas Duda. As good as Belt? No, I don’t think so. But way cheaper and requiring less of a commitment.

But hey, rumors are rumors. Let a thousand flowers bloom.