Orioles, Wieters avoid arbitration

At Orioles FanFest last Saturday, Orioles Executive Vice President of Baseball Operations Dan Duquette said he hoped the team would avoid going to arbitration with catcher Matt Wieters.

On Thursday, the two sides came to terms.

The Orioles and Wieters agreed to a one-year contract, reportedly worth $7.7 million, to avoid having to go to an arbitration hearing later this offseason.

Wieters had filed at $8.75 million and the Orioles countered at $6.5 million before the sides agreed on Thursday. The 27-year-old hit .235 with 22 home runs and 79 RBIs, while continuing to be one of the best defensive catchers in the league.

He said at FanFest that he wouldn't concern himself with the contract, letting his agent Scott Boras and Duquette work out a deal.

"Both sides respect each other and I'm just going to stay out of it," Wieters said.

There had been rumors earlier in the offseason that Wieters was on the trade block. But he said he also won't focus on that heading into the season.

"Until I'm told I'm going somewhere else, I'm going to be happy to be here in Baltimore," Wieters said. "I love the guys in the clubhouse, I love the guys here, and we're looking forward to this year."

Over the last two days, the Orioles have also signed a trio of players to minor-league contracts. On Wednesday, Baltimore signed relief pitcher Evan Meek and designated hitter Jack Cust.

Meek, 30, is 7-7 with a 3.34 ERA in five career major-league seasons. He was added to the Orioles' spring training roster.

They also reportedly agreed to a deal with former Cleveland Indians first baseman/outfielder Matt LaPorta. Laporta, 29, is a former first-round draft pick who has a career .238 average with 31 homers and 120 RBIs in 291 games over the past four seasons.