Orioles brass spoke with a finality about Matt Wieters' departure while discussing new catcher Welington Castillo
In announcing the signing of free-agent catcher Welington Castillo on Friday, Orioles executive vice president Dan Duquette and manager Buck Showalter were asked to give their thoughts on what now appears to be a certainty.
Matt Wieters, the team's four-time All-Star catcher and former first-round draft pick who is a free agent, won't be returning. Both took the time to bring the conversation back to why they chose Castillo on a one-year deal with a player option for 2018 over re-sigining Wieters, but had some parting thoughts on the latter.
"As far as Matt Wieters goes, he did a good job for the club," Duquette said. "He was a high draft pick and came up through the system and worked very hard and gave us tremendous service, and we wish him well. But for our ballclub, we think Welington was the best bet on the market."
Showalter said it's always hard to lose players like Wieters, but he's trying to keep it in perspective.
"Anytime you're around somebody as much as we are, probably more than anybody, you get to know a person and his family and his kids," Showalter said. "As many great things Matt did for us, there were a lot of great things the organization and city did for him and his family, too. So I try to keep that in mind. It was a great relationship for everybody, and I think everybody benefited from it. You never say never. The game has a way of having your paths cross. I think we just got a Christmas card from him yesterday.
"But that part of it, there's a baseball part of it and there's a personal part of it. I remember the first conversation I had with Matt when I got here about taking the next step, and he did. He's been compensated well for what he's given people, but it wasn't about that. This is about Welington. We're excited about him joining us."