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Matt Wieters says free agency is farthest thing from his mind

Orioles beat writer Eduardo A. Encina talks about catcher Matt Wieters' recovery from Tommy John surgery and his progress during spring training. (Kevin Richardson/Baltimore Sun video)

SARASOTA, FLA. — Orioles catcher Matt Wieters said Tuesday that his focus on coming back from Tommy John elbow surgery has allowed him to block out any thought of what might happen when his current contract with the club expires at the end of this season.

"You have to try and take the positive out of everything and just trying to get back on the field and get back playing. It's probably a good thing for me,'' he said. "That's all my focus is on right now, being able to help this team win. When you sit out as many games as I did last year, just gettting on the field and playing is enough.

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"It can make you realize that all the contract stuff and thinking about where you're going to be in the future doesn't matter. I just want to get back on the field and get back playing and doing what I enjoy."

Wieters is represented by superagent Scott Boras, who has made a name for himself taking his clients into the free agent market and getting them record contracts. But Wieters said the decision on whether to stay in Baltimore or go elsewhere next winter is entirely his.

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"He's had guys sign extensions before,'' Wieters said. "It's something to where he's just going to set out your value and what he feels are based on what the game has shown what your value is and it goes from there. It's all up to you. It's about measuring what's important to you."

Wieters' teammate Chris Davis -- another Boras client who can hit the open market after this season -- said Monday that he wants to see the Orioles commit to the future financially before he decides whether he'd sign a deal to remain in Baltimore.

Wieters said he is putting all the contract talk aside for now, but he knows there will come a time when he may have to face some difficult choices.

"When it comes down to it, it'll be a lot of hard thinking and a lot of praying about it for me, but I have tried to completely forget about it as much as possible,'' Wieters said. "I'll say in years past, I didn't completely forget about it. This year, I've tried to completely forget about it. I'm focused on completely getting the arm healthy."

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Wieters said he enjoys playing in Baltimore and said the harmony in the clubhouse is the reason the Orioles have been able to compete so well in the American League East the past three seasons in spite of having a middle-market payroll.

"It's a very unselfish clubhouse. I think that's why you see why a lot of guys want to play here, because it's a great group of guys who are working toward the same goal," he said. "I haven't been in any other major league clubhouses, but I can only imagine there are quite a few clubhouses that don't have that kind of well-being in mind for their teammates."

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