ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. – Matt Wieters says he doesn’t want to be bothered with contract talk.
On Wednesday, CBSsports.com’s Jon Heyman reported that the Orioles made a contract offer of at least five years to the All-Star catcher.
Wieters’ agent is Scott Boras, and presumably the offer would have come from Orioles executive vice president of baseball operations Dan Duquette, who has declined comment.
“Once the season started, I’m not worried about it any more this year. I’m focused on this year and anything that involves that you can talk with Dan or Scott. I’m just going to go out this year and worry about winning more than anything,” Wieters said on Thursday.
The 26-year-old Wieters isn’t eligible for free agency until 2016, but after the San Francisco Giants signed Buster Posey to a nine-year, S164 million contract last week, it was natural for the Orioles, or perhaps Boras, to reach out.
“That’s why I have agents and people behind the scenes. The biggest thing that I’ve always known is that you have to put your full effort into playing on the field, and once the season comes, that’s where I’m at,” Wieters said.
“Right now, I’m not thinking about it at all,” Wieters said. “Right now, all conversations are about Scott and Dan, and I’m just focused on playing.”
If the Orioles offered Wieters a five-year contract, it would tie in with the longest agreements in the organization. Adam Jones is in the first year of a six-year contract that runs through 2018. Duquette and manager Buck Showalter signed contract extensions in January that run through that season, too.
If the Orioles would sign Wieters to a lucrative extension, either during this season or after it, that would likely continue to put them out of the market for pricey free agents. Though Brian Roberts', four-year, $40 million contract is ending, Jones, Nick Markakis and their younger players such as Chris Davis and Jim Johnson will probably be in line for hefty increases.