Tuesday, November 8, 2016

The Search For The 2017 Backup Catcher

Odds are against Dioner returning in 2017...
Remember when the Jays brought back Navarro for the playoff run in 2016? Neither do I. He had a mere 36 AB's and 6 singles, no extra bases, good for a .182/.250/.182/.432 slash line. Thole has a higher OPS at .474... What an entirely forgettable stint!

So who might be playing backup next year for your TBJ's?

Internal Options:

Reese McGuire:  Reese who? A forgotten piece of the "shocking" trade deadline deal that sent Drew Hutchison to Pittsburgh for Franciso Liriano, rising OF prospect Harold Ramirez (currently our 35 prospect!) and this kid (22 in March),  who is the #4 catching prospect in all of baseball, mainly based on his plus D. Probably another year away, but could turn heads in Spring Training. No power but decent hitting average. Keep him on your radar.

Reese Mcguire, the #4 catching prospect in MLB

Max Pentecost: Long story short. He can hit. He was a first rounder (11th overall in 2013). He's recovering from shoulder surgeries. He did not catch at all last season. He's basically a DH at this point. Maybe they can convert him to 1B. Still a couple years away.

Buffalo has Erik Kratz (perfect .200 career Mendoza BA) and A.J. Jimenez, classic 3.5A (AAA1/2A) player, who, in a pinch could possibly fill in for a bridge year until one of the two prospects above are ready. As Stoeten always says, backup catchers don't add up to much in the W column (Thole hit .169 last year)...

External Options:

Bleacher Report just did a piece on the top 10 free agent catchers available. I love to hate that website, they do good work but racking up page views by scrolling through each player/team by page is aggravating. Most of these FA's (and some trade options) are way beyond what I think the Jays would ever want to pay a backup catcher who might play in 30-40 games. Especially since Russell is getting 20MM for the next 3 years...

Fuck Brian McCann. Weiters is a non-option (can he play 1B?). Kurt Suzuki would not be terribly expensive. Carlos Ruiz is only 4MM. Nick Hundley at 3MM?

Carlos Ruiz

My best guess is the Jays invite 5 guys I've barely heard of and keep one, and/or reanimate the corpse of Henry Blanco, who died in 2012 (*played for Jays in 2013).

Good luck sleeping tonight beaches!

Take a shot at being a hero and pick you WHO think might backup next year!