Yankees Ranks: Top Five American League East Catchers

Oct 2, 2016; Bronx, NY, USA; New York Yankees catcher Gary Sanchez (24) bats against the Baltimore Orioles at Yankee Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Danny Wild-USA TODAY Sports
Oct 2, 2016; Bronx, NY, USA; New York Yankees catcher Gary Sanchez (24) bats against the Baltimore Orioles at Yankee Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Danny Wild-USA TODAY Sports /
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Mandatory Credit: Danny Wild-USA TODAY Sports
Mandatory Credit: Danny Wild-USA TODAY Sports /

Matt Wieters

From 2011-2013, Matt Wieters averaged 22 HR, 76 RBI, and 143 games played. A two-time All-Star during that same period, Wieters propelled himself into the conversation among the best-hitting catchers in all of baseball.

But then 2014 came–Wieters missed 136 games due to injury. And in 2015 he missed 87 games. So how the Orioles didn’t think Wieters was a lock to accept a one-year, $13.1MM qualifying offer during the winter of 2015 is beyond me.

He did however mostly reward the only team he’s ever played for in ’16, suiting up for 124 contests while slugging 22 HR and 66 RBI. The career .256 hitter only managed to get his average up to .243, so suffice to say, that ship has sailed.

The lingering back injuries Wieters has suffered from over the past three seasons has not only zapped him of what little speed he had in the first place but much of his once solid defensive ability.

This season, while catching 117 games, Wieters committed 11 errors while allowing 43 stolen bases in 66 attempts for a .652 SB%.

It will be very interesting to see if the Orioles or any other Major League team for that matter still envision the 30-year-old as an everyday catcher. Because as a free agent-to-be, Wieters’ real monetary value lies in his ability to strap on a pair of shin guards at least four times a week.

If not, the eight-year veteran likely won’t command more than $10MM per season as a strict DH, which severely cuts down on his number of possible employers. His No. 3 ranking on this list is in severe jeopardy.