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.   



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