<
>

Matt Wieters agrees to Orioles' $15.8 million offer

Three-time All-Star catcher Matt Wieters has agreed to a one-year, $15.8 million qualifying offer with the Baltimore Orioles, saying he arrived at the decision after praying and talking at length with his family.

"Free agency is something you earn by playing a long time, but when it came down to it, I'm more than excited to return to Baltimore," Wieters said.

The 29-year-old Wieters becomes the second free agent to accept such a deal, following in the footsteps of Colby Rasmus' agreement with the Houston Astros on Thursday.

Los Angeles Dodgers pitcher Brett Anderson also accepted his qualifying offer Friday.

All 34 qualifying offers were turned down in the first three years of baseball's current collective bargaining agreement. When a player lets the deadline pass to test the market, his former team receives an additional high selection in the June draft if he signs somewhere else.

There were 20 qualifying offers made to free agents this year. The deadline to accept or reject the offer is Friday at 5 p.m. ET.

Wieters, a two-time Gold Glove Award winner, has spent his entire career with Baltimore and hit 100 home runs. Plagued by injuries, he hit .267 with eight homers last season.

"For a one-year deal, there's no place more comfortable than playing baseball for the Orioles," Wieters said.

Baltimore still has several free agents, including slugger Chris Davis and setup man Darren O'Day.

"I hope all the guys are back, but one of the main factors in my decision is that I think this team can be competitive regardless of what happens this offseason," Wieters said. "I know the preparation and work that goes into a Buck Showalter spring training camp. So no matter whether we have the most expensive team or not, every night we have a chance to win."

The Associated Press contributed to this report.