The Angels have at least had internal discussions regarding the possibility of pursuing free-agent catcher Matt Wieters, according to Jon Heyman of Fan Rag. Whether the team will emerge as a serious bidder remains to be seen, however.
As things stand, the Halos would open the year with Martin Maldonado and Carlos Perez atop their catching depth chart. Maldonado was acquired in a swap earlier this winter that sent fellow backstop Jett Bandy to the Brewers. Both of those players have historically served in part-time roles; neither has reached 300 plate appearances or ended a single campaign with league-average offensive production.
Wieters, meanwhile, has seen much heavier usage over his career with the Orioles. And as a switch hitter who traditionally fares much better against right-handed pitching, he’d pair rather easily with either of the existing players. Though he missed significant time in 2014 and 2015, and ultimately required Tommy John surgery, he was able to return to post a full 2016 campaign in which he logged 117 games behind the plate.
Of course, it’s not clear whether Wieters is still quite the player that he once was. He has turned in several quality offensive seasons, but hit just .243/.302/.409 last year — though he did contribute a healthy tally of 17 home runs. And while Wieters has long been considered a sturdy defender, he doesn’t rate well at framing pitches.
It is certainly interesting to hear of the Angels’ interest. There hasn’t been much chatter surrounding Wieters, who has watched as several potential suitors pursued other routes to fill their needs behind the dish. But there are a few possible landing spots elsewhere; the Diamondbacks have some interest, as might the Nationals in the right circumstances.