Speaking with Paul White of USA TODAY Sports, Baltimore Orioles manager Buck Showalter stated that the financial implications of Alex Rodriguez's potential suspension would be catcher Matt Wieters ending up with the New York Yankees. Showalter seemed to be making an example, but even still, the words have set MLB ablaze.
Plain and simple, Wieters ending up with the Yankees should be an afterthought for the Orioles.
The topic of A-Rod's ban was inevitably brought up, as Showalter managed him with the Texas Rangers. On the topic, the two-time Manager of the Year and former Yankees skipper spoke on the potential for Rodriguez's suspension to make his contract null and void.
That's when Wieters was brought into the fray.
"If Bud lets them get away with that, they're under the luxury tax," Showalter told USA TODAY Sports. "If they can reset, they can spend again and I guarantee you in two years Matt Wieters is in New York."
The Yankees signed Rodriguez to a 10-year, $275 million contract in 2008. Since then, he's hit a decline, fallen out of favor with the fanbase, become involved in a steroids scandal and earned the reputation as the biggest financial burden in the history of professional sports.
According to Bob Nightengale of USA TODAY Sports, MLB commissioner Bud Selig is now prepared to ban A-Rod for life after his connection with Biogenesis was uncovered.
As for Wieters, he's not connected to anything, specifically not the Yankees. He's from South Carolina, attended Georgia Tech and, thus far, hasn't hinted at a desire to leave Baltimore for New York or any other location.
All Wieters is here is a victim of praise.
Merely an Example
When Showalter referenced Wieters in his previously alluded to comments, it wasn't to spark a Twitter eruption that the 27-year-old is considering signing with the Yankees. Instead, he was doing something difficult to comprehend: praising his catcher.
Wieters said as much himself.
Now that that's over, let's see why Showalter would use his catcher as an example.
Thus far in 2013, Wieters is hitting .239 with 21 doubles, 14 home runs and 49 RBI in 100 games played. Wieters is also fourth amongst qualified catchers in caught stealing percentage, throwing out 40.0 percent of runners attempting to swipe a bag.
Throw in two All-Star appearances, two Gold Gloves and the 2011 Fielding Bible award and you have yourself a star.
Furthermore, Wieters is currently on pace to top 20 doubles and 20 home runs for the third consecutive season. As a power hitter who can also field his position, the value is undeniable.
That's the one-and-only reason Showalter brought him up to begin with.
One Way or Another...
The common misconception about the words Showalter uttered is that Wieters is considering signing with the Yankees. The truth of the matter is Showalter's issue is with the absence of a salary cap, not where his player will end up as a free agent.
Unfortunately for Showalter, whether it's 2013 or 2018, the Yankees will get A-Rod's contract off of their books and become free agent aggressors at some point in time.
This has been a topic of conversation for years on hand, as MLB allows owners to spend as they please. Small market organizations, such as the Orioles, often oppose this rule, as it creates a competitive imbalance with teams like the Yankees.
Others will simply make the case that an owner unwilling to spend money shouldn't be an owner at all.
It's upsetting that Wieters was the name used, or any player for that matter, as it paints him in a negative light. This likely wasn't Showalter's intention, but enough damage was done for this article—and, likely, many more—to be written.
Rather than indicting Wieters as yet another Yankees-bound player, however, we should do something else: accept that Showalter acknowledged Wieters' ability and inadvertently made him an example of MLB's financial imbalance.