Rather than try to convince reporters at spring training that he wasn’t upset with the club’s decision to renew his contract, as he did in 2012, catcher Matt Wieters is able to put all the money talk behind him before reporting to the Ed Smith Stadium complex next month.
Wieters agreed today to a $5.5 million deal for the upcoming season in his first year of arbitration eligibility. No controversies, no threat of a hearing.
“It’s a good feeling,” Wieters said tonight at the Maryland Science Center, where he joined Orioles teammates for the premiere of “The BUCKle Up Birds: An Underdog Story” at the IMAX Theatre.
“We were going to focus on the season, no matter what, and let the business people handle the business side, but it is nice to get it behind you and completely have everything in the rear view mirror, and now continue to move forward.”
Wieters wasn’t certain that an agreement would be reached before the 1 p.m. deadline.
“You never know,” he said. “It was my first time going through it, so I didn’t exactly know how it was going to play out. Really, in any situation, you don’t know how it’s going to play out, so you kind of go with the information you hear and try to make the best decision when it gets to that point.”
The Orioles haven’t approached Wieters, who made $500,000 last year, about a long-term extension. They have him under team control for three seasons, including 2013, before he’s eligible for free agency.
“The Orioles have my rights for three more years and that’s something that we’re both fine with right now,” he said. “We’re just going to go out there and play this year, and I’m not going to focus on the business side anymore because we were able to get this out of the way.”