The Rays have made a formal offer to free-agent catcher Matt Wieters, according to Marc Topkin of the Tampa Bay Times. While specific details of the offer are not known, Topkin notes that it’s likely a one-year offer that could reach about $10 million with “creativity and incentives”.
Tampa Bay already added one catcher this winter, making a creative splash at the Winter Meetings by coming to terms on a two-year deal with ex-National Wilson Ramos. With Ramos sidelined through at least July with knee injuries, Wieters would take over Tampa’s starting catching role for the first half of the year and then split time with Ramos at catcher and designated hitter for the stretch run.
Wieters, 30, is the top remaining free agent left on the market as spring training gets underway. He has been linked at times this winter to the Braves, Nationals, Brewers and Angels in addition to the Rays, and is unlikely to return to the Orioles after the team’s addition of Welington Castillo.
Wieters is likely at this point to command a one-year deal, and it may be an incentive-laden one. Tampa Bay may just present that correct opportunity, looking for an upgrade over Luke Maile and Curt Casali in Ramos’ absence.