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Baltimore Orioles Avoid Arbitration with Matt Wieters; Sign Former First-round Pick Matt LaPorta

February 7th, 2014 at 7:52 AM
By Josh Michael

The Baltimore Orioles finally got their last arbitration eligible player signed for 2014 and were able to avoid an arbitration hearing as the O's and Matt Wieters agree on a one year deal for $7.7 million. Baltimore also added another Minor League signing to its books as they inked former first round pick Matt LaPorta to a Minor League deal.

'Matt Wieters' photo (c) 2013, Keith Allison - license: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0/

It appeared as though Wieters and the Orioles were heading for an arbitration hearing, as Wieters filed at $8.75 million and the Orioles countered at $6.5 million. With just a week before the hearing would have happened, the team announced it had agreed to terms with the catcher on a one year deal for $7.7 million with additional incentives.

Wieters made $5.5 million last season, and despite a down year at the plate (.235/.287/.417), his offensive numbers were still good as he hit 22 home runs with 79 RBI and his defense remained at a high level. The Orioles and Wieters will have one more year of arbitration in 2015, but Wieters will become a free agent after the 2015 season.

Jon Heyman of CBS Sports was the first to report the Wieters deal.

Baltimore continued their slew of Minor League signings this offseason as they inked former first-round pick Matt LaPorta to a Minor League deal without an invite to Major League Spring Training. LaPorta was a highly touted guy coming out of the University of Florida and the Milwaukee Brewers made him the seventh overall pick in the 2007 MLB Draft.

Remember when the Indians traded C.C. Sabathia to the Brewers? LaPorta was a big part of that deal as Milwaukee sent him to Cleveland and the Indians never got the player they thought they were getting. LaPorta his just .238 with 31 homers and 120 RBI in parts of four seasons in the big leagues with Cleveland, playing in 291 games and accruing 1,068 plate appearances. The right handed first baseman/outfielder didn't play in the Majors last season.

It is simply a Minor League depth move, and who knows, maybe something will click for LaPorta and he can finally realize the potential most scouts saw in him when he was a Gator. MASN's Roch Kubatko was the first to report the LaPorta deal.


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Tags: Baltimore, Baltimore Orioles, Baseball, Matt LaPorta, Matt Wieters, MLB

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