One team has a clear need for catching depth and a few others could upgrade behind the plate. Here's a look at some teams that could look to acquire catchers before the July 31st deadline:
- The Red Sox are relying on Kevin Cash and Gustavo Molina with Jason Varitek and Victor Martinez on the DL. There's no timeline for Martinez's return to action, according to Amalie Benjamin of the Boston Globe.
- Like the Red Sox, the Tigers have other areas of need (shortstop, pitching), but they could upgrade behind the plate. Gerald Laird has a .524 OPS and just two homers. He and Alex Avila have both limited the running game well, but the Tigers aren't getting much offense from their catchers (Laird has thrown 29% of would-be base stealers out; Avila has nabbed 41%).
- Russell Martin is also throwing out his share of runners (37%) but he isn't hitting the way he once did. Martin (.679 OPS) and A.J. Ellis (.544 OPS) aren't providing Joe Torre with much pop, so the Dodgers could look to add a backup with power.
- Jason LaRue hasn't hit much for the Cards (.622 OPS) and All-Star starter Yadier Molina hasn't either (.595 OPS).
These clubs have a few options to consider over the course of the next few weeks:
- The D'Backs called the Red Sox about Chris Snyder, so he figures to be available, especially with Miguel Montero around. Snyder's ten homers and .240/.355/.448 batting line would appeal to teams, but the $8.6MM remaining on his salary would not. With that salary, there's a chance Snyder would clear waivers, enabling interim GM Jerry DiPoto to trade him in August.
- Ryan Doumit has at least $7.2MM remaining on his contract, but has a solid .260/.334/.415 line.
- John Buck, who makes $2MM this year before hitting free agency, is a cheaper option. Like Snyder, he has power (13 homers, .502 slugging percentage).
- The Rays have two catchers other than John Jaso (who boasts a surprising .393 OBP). Kelly Shoppach or Dioner Navarro could become trade bait.
- The Indians would presumably part with the recently-DFA'd Mike Redmond.