Matt Wieters is staying with the only Major League Baseball organization he knows.

The catcher elected to re-sign with the Baltimore Orioles on Friday by accepting his one-year qualifying offer, according to Jon Heyman of Joel Sherman of the New York Post later confirmed Heyman’s report.

Given that Wieters played in just 101 games over the last two seasons due to injury, Heyman saw the logic in Wieters’ delaying his foray into free agency by one year:

Wieters didn’t make his first appearance this past season until June 5. He underwent Tommy John surgery the previous year and spent time at extended spring training and on a minor league rehab assignment as he healed from the procedure.

He looked well on his way to an impactful season after that debut when he notched two hits and two RBI, but he hit just .267 with eight home runs in 75 games on the campaign. It was a far cry from three straight seasons with at least 22 home runs from 2011 to 2013.

The elbow surgery and schedule that sometimes prevented him from catching on back-to-back days in 2015 likely influenced his decision, especially since he didn’t get the opportunity to prove himself with a playoff appearance for the third-place Orioles.

Still, the catcher has developed into a Baltimore fixture and has been with the organization since it drafted him with the fifth overall pick in 2007. The former Georgia Tech Yellow Jacket debuted in 2009 and quickly became one of the fan favorites on the team.

He discussed whether those Baltimore ties would impact his free-agency decision following the 2015 season, per Roch Kubatko of

I won’t know until I go through the process. I’ll do a lot of prayer and hopefully God will lead me to where he wants me to be and then I know that will be the right one.

On top of that, there is nothing but fond memories that I have from my time here in Baltimore. I love this city and I love this team and I love this clubhouse more than anything.

Those fond memories clearly played a factor in his decision because he elected to return to Baltimore as part of the team’s core in a difficult American League East.

Despite an injury-plagued campaign, Jim Duquette of ranked Wieters as the ninth-best free agent available this offseason: “This talented switch-hitter has had some injury problems, but he can hit for power and shut down a running game—two hard-to-find skills.”

Wieters is a three-time All-Star and two-time Gold Glove winner and is only 29 years old, with a number of productive seasons theoretically ahead of him. The Orioles know better than any other team what Wieters is capable of, and they are banking on his return to form in the immediate future.

Per, Wieters ranked in the top three in the American League in caught stealing percentage in 2011, 2012 and 2013 and finished second in number of baserunners thrown out stealing in 2012 and 2013.

He was particularly impressive in 2011 when he posted 17 total defensive runs saved above average, according to FanGraphs.

The Orioles will be a much more dangerous team in 2016 if Wieters once again becomes a defensive force and hits for the power fans saw from 2011 to 2013.

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