Baltimore Orioles: Would the Orioles consider trading for Brian McCann?

With Matt Wieters heading to free agency, would the Baltimore Orioles consider a trade with the Yankees for catcher Brian McCann?

The Baltimore Orioles are at a crossroad regarding Matt Wieters. Their starting catcher for the last eight seasons could be heading to free agency. The Orioles would like to bring him back next season on their terms. But if the Orioles aren’t able to, they’ll have to look elsewhere.

The Orioles are currently unsure whether they’re going to extend a qualifying offer to Wieters. Under the new CBA, the qualifying offer would be $17.2 Million, which is a $2 Million raise from last year. The reason for their indecisiveness is Wieters had arguably the worst season of his career, hitting .243/.302/.309 with 17 homers and 66 RBI’s. Such numbers wouldn’t justify offering the $17.2 Million qualifying offer. That reason alone would prompt the Orioles to let Wieters enter free agency.

If the Orioles let Wieters walk, they still have Corban Joseph as their starting catcher. However, would Joseph be enough to help the Orioles in their quest to return to the postseason?

The bottom line is the Orioles could use a catcher with veteran presence in the clubhouse. One catcher that could fit for the Orioles isn’t on the free agent market. However, he could be available via the trade market.

The New York Yankees currently have a catcher’s predicament of their own. With the surge of rookie catcher Gary Sanchez, the Yankees have no place for veteran catcher Brian McCann. McCann is currently in the fourth year of his five-year, $85 Million deal and is owed approximately $34 Million in the final two years of his contract.

It’s safe to say McCann isn’t an upgrade for Wieters, especially after the poor season he had for the Yankees in 2016. In 130 games for the Yankees, McCann hit .242/.335/.413 with 20 homers and 58 RBIs, and had a WAR of 0.9. However, the Yankees have three catchers on the roster (McCann, Sanchez and Austin Romine), and it’s a safe bet one of them will be dealt this winter.

The Orioles could use McCann’s veteran presence and his defense behind the plate. One thing that might turn them away is McCann’s remaining contract. The only way the Orioles would consider acquiring for McCann is if the Yankees eat some of his current contract. However with the Yankees attempting to go under the $189 Million threshold, eating McCann’s contract might be out of the question.

It’s also worth McCann has a no-trade clause, and McCann wouldn’t willingly exercise it except if it were for the good of the team.

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Still, the Orioles could use a veteran catcher and the Yankees could trade McCann to shed money from payroll. Would it be worth the Orioles giving the Yankees a call?

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