Trade Market For Catchers

Trading a catcher this offseason won't be easy, because there are plenty of free agents and many teams are going young.  We analyzed the free agent catching market here; now it's time to consider the trade market.

Non-Tender Candidates

MLBTR broke the news last week that the non-tender deadline was moved up ten days, to December 2nd.  The non-tender candidates mentioned here – including Russell Martin, Ronny Paulino, Mike Napoli, Jeff Mathis, and Dioner Navarro – will presumably be shopped in advance of that date – before the Winter Meetings.  Of course, non-tender rumors can kill a player's trade market, as we saw with Kelly Johnson and Matt Capps last winter.

Catchers Under Contract

Three catchers under multiyear extensions may be trade candidates: Ryan Doumit, Chris Iannetta, and Kelly Shoppach.  Doumit, owed $5.6MM for one year, would be a salary dump on the Pirates' part.  They seem likely to move him somehow.  Iannetta, owed $6.1MM over two years, had a lost season after the Rockies signed Miguel Olivo.  If Olivo is re-signed for 2011, the Rockies might want to trade Iannetta before his stock drops further.  Shoppach is owed $3MM next year and has a club option for '12.  If the Rays have faith in the strong play of John Jaso, they could trade Shoppach and find a cheaper backup.  Shoppach missed significant time due to knee surgery this year, however.


The trade market for catchers offers no stars.  Instead you'll find bounceback candidates and useful but overpaid players.  Offensive-minded clubs should look to the trade market, with Doumit, Napoli, and Iannetta possibly available.

Full Story | 20 Comments | Categories: Trade Market

20 Responses to Trade Market For Catchers Leave a Reply

  1. The_Porcupine 5 years ago

    Iannetta needs to get out of Colorado, hope he gets traded to a place that gives him a good fair chance to start and show his ability. He and Napoli offer the most trade value.

    • The Rockies have got to be kicking themselves for not dealing him for Jed Lowrie when they had the chance

      • Tko11 5 years ago

        Lowrie is looking pretty darn good! Hope he starts at short next year for the sox!

  2. Napoli non-tendered. Not even if the Angels hired Omar.

  3. bjsguess 5 years ago

    I just don’t get this Napoli talk. A career 831 OPS for a catcher just entering his prime who also learned to play 1B in ’10.

    In what universe is that a non-tender candidate?

    • I don’t think he will be non-tendered – as I said in the previous post – but I think the possibility needs to be considered. If the Angels really, really don’t like him as a regular catcher, they might decide they’d rather spend $5MM elsewhere. Some team would like to have him, but equally unlikely non-tenders have happened before, even coming off decent seasons.

      • BK 5 years ago

        Yea you are just incorrect on this one. There is nothing that even remotely imply that they would non tender him. An indictment on his defense hardly equates to a full non-tender. You should remove that.

        • Couldn’t agree less with you. There are certainly signs that Napoli is not in favor with the Angels. Similar players have been non-tendered, historically. And I have spelled out time and again that a trade is more likely. If you want to take the “0% chance of a non-tender” approach, that’s fine, but I’m not doing that.

          • I agree. If no catchers are signed before December 2nd, wouldn’t they almost have to non-tender him? Given the Red Sox (Napoli’s best suitor, imo) didn’t sign anyone until Dec 4 last year (Scutaro), I wouldn’t be surprised to see Napoli non-tendered. It’s hard to imagine the Angels taking the risk on finding a suitor when there’s still decent, and cheaper, options out there.

          • bjsguess 5 years ago

            Even if you don’t like his defense (which the Angels clearly don’t) do you really non-tender him?

            Morales is coming off a major surgery. Assuming they cut Mathis, that will leave the catching group of Conger or Wilson. Wouldn’t the team be much better served to keep Napoli, platoon him with Conger, and let him DH/play 1st should the need arise?

            I’ll say it again, there are about 23 other teams that Napoli could start for right now. It’s only Scioscia’s crazy man crush on Mathis that keeps him from getting regular starts behind the dish for the Halos.

            So, I guess that I’ll go with Lloyd Christmas here and say that yes, there is a chance he gets non-tendered. I put those odds at about 1 in a million.

          • Do I non-tender him is not the question…it is could the Angels non-tender him? Especially if those 23 teams know the Angels don’t want him at that price? I say 10-15% chance.

          • bjsguess 5 years ago

            Sorry Tim – didn’t mean “you – Tim Dierkes” – that was my generic “you”.

            I still think that 10-15% is too high – but we are at least in the same ballpark. Of course, there are about a dozen current Angels that I would throw in that 10-15% bucket as well … Kendrick, Aybar, etc. I don’t think there is really any chance that those guys get non-tendered but I guess it is possible.

          • I would not be offended by a 5-10% estimate. Maybe the question is, does 10% get you thrown in as a “candidate.” Perhaps not.

  4. RedSoxDynasty 5 years ago

    Put Napoli in Fenway and he’ll be playing in the All-Star Game next year. Sox would thrive with a Salty/ Napoli platoon IMO! Just give both guys a fair chance! I can’t believe Angels are thinking of moving this guy. He might be the most under valued player in the game. Before this year I gave that honor to Matt Thornton and look how he turned out!

    • haymaker9 5 years ago

      I think Napoli would be a good fit for the Red Sox. He could basically replace Victor Martinez as the guy that mixes in at C, 1B and DH. Also, his value would increase even more when Ortiz and Varitek finally disappear into the night.

      • Victor’s value is at catcher, and the more games he plays at 1B/DH will decrease his value, not increase it.

        Edit: Nevermind, I see that you were talking about Napoli now. However, he isn’t getting playing time at 1B unless Youk goes down again. He could DH against lefties and catch about 80-100 games though.

      • Tko11 5 years ago

        But napoli isnt any better defensively than martinez…

  5. johnsilver 5 years ago

    Napoli has problems with base runners also, just like Martinez did and unless the Sox think catching instructor Gary Tuck can fix them, would shy away from Napoli, especially since don’t think there is a chance Anaheim will non tender him, they had a small window over the deadline to work out a deal with Boston and imagine the Sox made them a fair sort of offer, knowing full well what it would cost to retain him in 2011.

    Would prefer for Boston to approach the LAD on martin, a better defensive catcher who might be able to find his hitting stroke again in Fenway.

  6. Flharfh 5 years ago

    Brewers pick up Napoli to play 1B/backup C after trading Prince?

  7. Timo118 5 years ago

    I had a dream the other night that the Yankees traded for Buster Posey… Just saying

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