Free Agent And Trade Market For Catchers

The Rays, Angels, Pirates, and Twins may seek help at catcher this winter, and none of the available players will be expensive to acquire.

Starting Catchers Available In Free Agency

Ramon Hernandez and Rod Barajas qualify as starting catchers, though they're not quite full-blown regulars since they play 90-100 games per year.  Hernandez has a shot at a multiyear deal.

Ryan Doumit hasn't caught 900 innings in a season since '08, but given his offensive ability there should be a hybrid role for him somewhere.  Chris Snyder and Kelly Shoppach were starters not long ago, and free agency might allow them to pick teams with opportunities.  Jorge Posada caught only one game this year, but feels he could handle the duty here and there.  But would he do so for another team?

Quality Backups

Henry Blanco is expected back with Arizona, but Ramon Castro, Jose Molina, and Jason Varitek are a few backups who provided a touch of offense in 2011.  Ivan Rodriguez and Matt Treanor also may be able to find big league deals.  Our full free agent list can be found here.

Non-Tender Candidates

We've got nine speculative non-tender candidates: Jeff Mathis, Koyie Hill, Robby Hammock, Eli Whiteside, John Baker, Ronny Paulino, Jesus Flores, Rob Johnson, and Brayan Pena.  By definition, some of these guys are trade candidates.  Mathis, Paulino, Baker, and Flores have had semi-regular roles in the past.  

Other Trade Candidates

Rockies GM Dan O'Dowd expects Chris Iannetta to be their catcher next year, though perhaps he could become available during the season if Wilin Rosario comes on strong.  Similarly, the White Sox could trade A.J. Pierzynski if they deem Tyler Flowers ready for full-time catching, though Pierzynski would need to approve a deal.  A team could eye George Kottaras for more than the backup role he held with the Brewers this year.  Jake Fox is far from a regular catcher, but he could be available.

The Yankees currently have strong catching depth, with Russell Martin, Jesus Montero, Francisco Cervelli at the big league level.  Austin Romine got a cup of coffee this year, while Gary Sanchez spent the season at Low-A ball.   

46 Responses to Free Agent And Trade Market For Catchers Leave a Reply

  1. Eduardo Medina 4 years ago

    I really don´t see Posada catching elsewhere…New York or retiring, those are your two choices Jorge

    • Guest 4 years ago

      Pretty much agree with Posada. His wife is very smart and I’m sure she’ll rationalize with him about the potential risk if he continues playing.  

      I’m really surprised that Devin Morassco and Jesus Montero were not named in the “trade section.” They are two of the highest rated prospects in baseball and both are catchers and yeah we know, while Montero doesn’t factor to be a catcher, long term, he technically is a catcher for now and there could be teams which value him in that capacity. It’s pretty evident that Montero’s name has been floated as a trade candidate for a season and a half now and it’s interesting to not see it mentioned here. I bring up Morassco just for the reason that if Seattle called Cincy and said “you know, we’d consider trading you Felix for Morassco + + +” wouldn’t it be something to consider?Morassco is a phenomenal prospect that is very very VERY valuable right now. You never know.

      • Slopeboy 4 years ago

        How silly can you be? You really really think Seatte would even consider trading Felix for a prospect?

        • 0bsessions 4 years ago

          Step 1: Click Century’s icon.
          Step 2: Click Activity.
          Step 3: Read for two to three minutes.

          In three simple steps, you can answer both questions.

          • Guest 4 years ago

            I can see the walk I recommended you take to get some fresh air did you little good. 

  2. Blue387 4 years ago

    I don’t know about you but I hear Jeff Mathis is a bad hitter.

    • Pete 4 years ago

      I also heard he’s not good defensive catcher and that he’s generally just awful at baseball. But that’s just what I heard from his career -1.8 WAR over 426 games.

      But I heard 426 games is too small a sample scale from someone who doesn’t know anything about baseball. So don’t take my word for it. Actually, wait, what?

      • vtadave 4 years ago

        But he’s a gamer. He’ll give 110% day in and day out and won’t be found drinking beer in the dugout during games.

        • Pete 4 years ago

          Beer? Sheesh. I’d let a player shoot heroin in the dugout if it meant he’d have 1200 OPS. But that’s just me, letting crappy players play because theye “likable” is a recipie for failure.

        • Hey-Before you go trashing the Sox those beers were put to good use! they were rally beers…

          • Chris Masteller 4 years ago

            Yeah, the Red Sox needed several rallies when their starters had a 7.00+ ERA in September.

  3. Jake Fox is far from a regular catcher, but he could be available. What do you mean he could be available? Former President and GM of the Orioles Andy MacPhail went through a lot of trouble to “Out” Fox Billy Beane to obtain him. I mean he plays several positions and carries a “Big Bat”, well maybe that’s a sometime thing for Ol Jake. I guess you could say he “Sometimes” he  carries a “Big Bat” and did I mention that he tells jokes to keep the whole entire team loose. Didn’t he tell you his all-time favorite joke: Why did the Fox cross the road?  To get to the other Team! Wocka, Wocka, Wocka! His nickname in some parts of the world was “Fozzy Bear” Fox. It’s a little known fact; however it is true at least according to my sources. Bottom Line is the Man is Not Available! Not unless you want to pony up some serious “Prospects”!

    • Rabbitov 4 years ago

      I think he’d be available for a reliever.  I know it’d be hard to give up on a spring training superstar like Fox.  If only those games counted. 

      • Maybe, the next GM could “Out Fox” Billy Beane again and trade Jake Fox for Grant Balfour. With a little arm twisting on both sides, I think it could happen.

  4. Christopher Soto 4 years ago

    I have always found Ryan Doumit to be an interesting guy. I wonder how much he’s looking to make this off-season.

    • arthur3 4 years ago

      Ryan Doumit’s best fielding position would be as a designated hitter. He is a serious defensive liability wherever he plays on the field. The problem is that he doesn’t hit well enough to be a designated hitter, and has never stayed healthy enough to ever be a guy that a team could truly count upon. Realistically, I see him more as a switch hitting bat coming off the bench as a pinch hitter, but in this role, he has never performed well either. The Pirates are cutting him loose because he is just not worth the 10 million he has come to expect.

      • Christopher Soto 4 years ago

        Which makes me wonder how much he’s looking for this off-season….I can see him being a valuable back-up catcher not for his glove but for his hitting abilities and switch handedness.

      • iheartyourfart 4 years ago

        you have to assume that if he can catch about 50 games a year without hurting the club too bad, he’s got a ton of value as a lefty bench bat and backup catcher that can spell a guy at 1b if needed.  assuming he can fill that role most NL teams would love to have a guy like doumit because he can do a lot of things while taking up just one roster spot and giving the manager and GM a ton of flexibility.  that is all assuming he can catch.

        • sourbob 4 years ago

          I agree. He could play a Jim Leyritz-type pinch-hitter/DH/backup catcher role.

  5. Doumit is one of the worst defensive catchers in history – he should be a DH

  6. Jim Briggs III 4 years ago

    A little (not a lot) surprised to not see JP Arencibia on there.  I guess he doesn’t rate as a likely winter trade, but if Travis D’Arnaud comes out looking sharp in ST, there’s a possibility he forces management’s hand, and that the Jays have a nice asset on their hands in a young, controllable catcher who can handle a staff decently and has 20HR power – if not great AVG/OBP.

    • i wouldn’t be surprised to see one of cibia, d’arnaud or perez moved this offseason

    • Guest 4 years ago

      Good point on JP as well. Forgot him. There are several names that do not appear on this list that on many occasions have been brought up in trade rumors. Not sure why these were left off, especially considering their pedigree and the teams that hold these players having depth at this position. Both the Jays and Yankees especially have significant catching depth.

      • JP crossed my mind for this post, but I decided he doesn’t look like a serious candidate for this offseason.  Could be wrong!

        Yankees certainly have depth and should merit a mention.

        • Guest 4 years ago

          Anthopoulos has shown his propensity to surprise everyone, so sure, anytime they have depth on their roster, I’d consider a player to be a trade candidate. :) They’d be justified in re-signing Molina to another 1 year deal while the younger guys fight out the back-up spot and move one of the others, but I also understand that is not what this post was suggesting.   

          •  Anthos not going to trade JP, if anything theyll give him another year to see what they have then make a decision. Lawrie had a great spring training and the Jays actually had an opening at his position, but he was still send down. D’Arnaud will benefit more from a stint in AAA, instead of being thrown into the AL East.

          • Guest 4 years ago

            Fair enough, and for the most part you’re probably correct, even as Tim stated not seeing him as a serious candidate. However, I wouldn’t rule out anything with AA. 

  7. mike piazza 4 years ago

    mets should try for flores

    • WolandJR 4 years ago

      maybe he will be available in the rule 5 draft… *snark*

  8. touchmymonkey 4 years ago

    I can see Soto being on the block – maybe Theo wants a vet to teach castillo ( pudge? Varitek?) and use the money saved elsewhere. Soto still has decent value might get a nice bullpen pc or more

    • Christopher Soto 4 years ago


  9. Alex 4 years ago

    Doesn’t Pierzynski have ten-and-five rights? He’d be tough to trade.

    • That is worth noting.

    • slider32 4 years ago

      AJ just said on Mad Dog radio, that he and Kenny Williams were drinking a beer in the dugout during the 2005 world series, after he was taken out of the game.  Cowboy up! Well they were playing the Astros, hard to believe. Wade has done a great job with team, he is a feeder program for the Phillies!

  10. Landon Powell likely is a non-tender candidate. The A’s have two not-so-hot options in Josh Donaldson and Anthony Recker at Sacramento and while neither will tear the cover off the ball, nor does Powell.

    • Pete 4 years ago

      If there’s any way to upgrade over Kurt Suzuki other than praying Max Stassi has a meteoric rise, the A’s might look to move Suzuki too.

      • I wouldn’t be surprised to see Suzuki dealt. 

        • Guest 4 years ago

          It’s a good point and it ties directly into my Yankees and A’s match up well for a few things. A’s have pitching depth, the Yank’s at catcher. What if the Yanks send someone to the A’s (along with others) for a pitcher and the A’s turn around and move Suzuki to say the Red Sox or even the Rays or Twins (I think Mauer’s years are extremely limited behind the plate at this point). The A’s could accomplish a great deal with just 1 pitcher and their existing catcher in trades. 

          • Pete 4 years ago

            As much as I’d love to have the “A’s have pitching depth” statement be true, it really isnt. They have Gonzalez & Cahill and a ton of injury-plagued guys. If those two and McCarthy, Anderson & Braden all started 30 games this year, well for one the A’s would have probably been in an pennant race, but secondly, your statement would make more sense.

            If anything I would hope the A’s would try and sign Iwakuma again, or make a bid for Edwin Jackson. Luckily they drafted Sonny Gray, who was scouted as having the fastest route to the bigs (and he destroyed every minor league level he was at this year). I honestly think Bailey would be traded before anyone, with Gray coming in to close in 2012 before moving to the rotation in 2013.

            The official depth chart after Gio+Cahil is: McCarthy-Moscoso-Braden-Outman-Ross-Godfrey. Brett Anderson if he’s lucky will be back in July, but also may miss the entire year. With the exception of the 5th-starters-at-best Godfrey & Moscoso, every single player mentioned was hurt last year. 

            So yeah, “A’s have pitching depth” is a falsehood unless you are interested in high upside/injury plagued guys. I wish it wasn’t true, but that’s the reality.

          • Guest 4 years ago

            Fair enough. I neglected to consider that Anderson may be out for an entire season. Still guys like Gio and Braden are going to start costing much more soon and with the organization and stadium in flux, it will be interesting to see what route they’ll take with the team this offseason. 

          • Pete 4 years ago

            Beane’s official stance appears to be “Im standing still until Selig approves the move to SJ. If he lets us move, then I’m trading anyone over 27 so we rebuild and peak as we enter the new stadium. If he doesnt, then I’m dipping into Wolffs wallet and offering big contracts to anyone who will take them.” In the meantime I don’t see him making any moves unless he gets blown away by a deal that immediately makes the team better, like Outman&Bailey for Montero, but thats obviously not going to happen.

  11. ctothed 4 years ago

    Soto will end up being traded…  He should be on this list.

    • Christopher Soto 4 years ago

      If your gonna trade me at least trade me to the Mets….I might be able to get Jason Werth money out there….haha. Wait huh? Oh, Omar Minaya isnt GM anymore? Well forget that I’ll stick with the Cubs then.

      • Blue387 4 years ago

        Can you pitch?

        • Christopher Soto 4 years ago

          Seeing as how the pic of that Im using is of our game against Niagara where i struck out 5 and walked 6……yea sure, Its better than most of the guys in our bullpen lol.

  12. neoncactus 4 years ago

    Wonder if the Rangers would trade Torrealba this offseason.  Given that Napoli has proven himself a solid catcher and is due an arbitration raise, they could back him up with Treanor or Teagarden for a lot less and they should be able to get a good return for Torrealba.  

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