Catching Rumors: Shoppach, Nationals

MLB catchers have combined for a .244/.316/.388 line this year and they're preventing 30% of stolen base attempts. Here are some catching rumors from around baseball…

  • Jon Heyman of suggests Kelly Shoppach of the Red Sox is likely popular in trade talks right now (Twitter link). The Angels and Nationals are among the clubs with possible interest in catching depth and Jarrod Saltalamacchia's emergence may make Shoppach expendable. The Red Sox could call Ryan Lavarnway up if necessary.
  • The Nationals don’t sound overly interested in trading for a catcher, according to Danny Knobler of (Twitter link). Sandy Leon and Wilson Ramos are on the disabled list, so the Nats are relying on Jesus Flores and Carlos Maldonado for now.

35 Responses to Catching Rumors: Shoppach, Nationals Leave a Reply

  1. I don’t agree with the wording in that paragraph on the Sox. Salty has been good, but he’s not going to be able to catch every day. Lavarnway would ABSOLUTELY be called up if Shoppach were traded. Interesting to note that Shoppach has caught almost all of Beckett’s starts this season. Also, I’m not sure that I’d call it an “emergence.” His average is slightly up and his OBP is lower than last season. He’s on pace to have a very similar year to last year, and nobody said he was emerging then.

    • Steve_in_MA 3 years ago

      Well, Josh is on the mound today, and Salty is catching.  What does that say about the possibility of a trade?  I think its been made clear to Josh that he will need to successfully pitch to Salty.

    • Spit Ball 3 years ago

      Wonder if something is in the works as Salty is catching Beckett today. Likely just using Salty because Shoppach caught last night. I don’t know why you would trade Shppach until teams get real desperate for catching.

  2. jammin502 3 years ago

    Nobody calling about Geovany Soto?

    • Stuart Brown 3 years ago

      Somehow I doubt the Cubs would consider anything considering his value is so low right now.

  3. MikeTorrez 3 years ago

    I have an issue with classifying someone who holds a .281 OBP as “emerging”.

    • notsureifsrs 3 years ago

      believe it or not, his offensive production has been above league average to this point

      but yes, one doesn’t dream of ’emerging’ into adequacy

      • MaineSox 3 years ago

        “but yes, one doesn’t dream of ’emerging’ into adequacy”

        Speak for yourself…

  4. MaineSox 3 years ago

    I could be wrong, but if the Sox really do have faith in Lavarnway as a catcher I think it would make more sense for them to trade Saltalamacchia than Shoppach.  Both Lavarnway and Salty get their value from their bats, and sitting on the bench is going to hurt either of them in that area, so neither really profiles as a good back-up catcher, so they would most likely want to keep Shoppach as their backup in either scenario.

    • Stuart Brown 3 years ago

      I was thinking the same thing. Lavarnway is better off being used as the starter either in the majors or at Triple-A. At this point, it’s probably better that he stays at Triple-A for some seasoning rather than sitting on the bench and playing 40 games for the rest of the year.

    • johnsilver 3 years ago

       Exactly.. Shoppach stays and Salty goes.. They don’t call up Lavarnway to ride the bench..

      Heyman is as bad of a hack as the NE media and this story just goes to prove it again.. You don’t move someone so that your best catching prospect rides the bench 5 days a week.. Shaugnessy might think so, the majority of the NE Media as well and some of these other hacks (like heyman) think like that also.. Just dream up something, pull it out of a place and put it onto the net..

      Salty would get them more back also and serve the same purpose and prospects also, they don’t need to try and get back pitching, nor positional players.. prospects is what they should target.

      • Crucisnh 3 years ago

        I agree as well.  IIRC, Lavarnway’s been catching about 4-5 games a week down at AAA to improve his catching skills.  It doesn’t seem wise to call him up just to be a 1-2 game a week backup.  Lavarnway needs to be playing, whether it’s at AAA or on the big club.

    • notsureifsrs 3 years ago

      i don’t think jarrod brings back anything useful, which would be the only reason to trade either one

      • MaineSox 3 years ago

        Agreed, but I don’t think Shoppach brings back anything more significant, and in that case you might as well keep the one that fits your team better (or trade neither, which I think is a likely scenario).

        Edit: …and I just looked and saw that Saltalamacchia is being paid about twice as much as Shoppach. For some reason I thought that he was being paid about $1M this year, which (along with his extra year of team control) I figured would make him at least as valuable as Shoppach.

        • notsureifsrs 3 years ago

          shoppach is easier to market. his skills are limited, but they are specific and reliable. crushes lefties, plays decent d. jarrod is a wildcard. might hit well, might suck. might play decent d, might suck

          contenders at the deadline are looking for concrete improvements. i don’t think he brings back anything significant, but shoppach is a much easier sell and could theoretically net a useful piece if he’s still hitting well come crunch time

  5. If only the Nats had a 19 year old Phenom who knew how to catch!

    • Yes wouldn’t that be great. Too bad they don’t have one. 

      • Odawg8 3 years ago

        I’m pretty sure he’s talking about Harper…

        • MaineSox 3 years ago

          Harper would still be several years away from the majors if they had stuck with him as a catcher.

  6. If the Sox trade Shoppach don’t they need permission first since he was a free agent signing last off-season? Also, if Ryan Lavarnway were truly any good wouldn’t he be here already? Plus, no matter who is traded what can the Red Sox expect in return anyway?

    • MaineSox 3 years ago

      “If the Sox trade Shoppach don’t they need permission first since he was a free agent signing last off-season?”  If the trade were to happen right now they would, but after a certain date (I can’t find/remember the date, but I think it’s early July) they can be traded without permission.

      “Also, if Ryan Lavarnway were truly any good wouldn’t he be here already?”  I guess that depends on what you mean by “any good.”  He is a good player, and Boston believes a capable catcher, but they want him to get consistent reps at catcher to work on his defense, and they didn’t believe that he was ready for full time catching in the majors when the season started, which is why they kept Salty and went and got Shoppach.  I don’t know if they feel he is ready now, but even if they do they have to do something with one of the catchers in the majors before they can call him up.

      “Plus, no matter who is traded what can the Red Sox expect in return anyway?”  Probably not a whole lot.  Maybe a mid-level prospect or two, or a middle reliever.

    • johnsilver 3 years ago

       Check Lavarnway’s MiLB stats for last year and for that matter.. Each of his 3 full seasons of professional ball.. He has absolutely crushed the ball.. Patience at the plate as well. He knows the K zone, has power to all fields.

      he is learning to catch is the issue as only starting catching at Yale (without going to look) his junior season am thinking and is still learning to block balls and game calling.

      They don’t want him sitting for 5 days a week, but playing F/T. If they move Salty? You can be quite certain he will be called up. He is close, if not ready with Shoppach as his backup.

      Like Maine said also below.. They would not expect much back for Shoppach. I am thinking they would however get a very nice prospect back for Salty if they wait until the deadline (maybe sooner) when one of the playoff contenders with a injured catcher gets desperate.

  7. Steve_in_MA 3 years ago

    Nick Cafardo (Boston Globe) reports that the Nats have a scout behind home plate at Fenway for both games against the Mariners, scouting catchers.  Today, Salty is behind the plate with Josh Beckett on the mound; not Beckett’s favorite catcher.  I tend to believe Heyman that the Nats are aggressively looking for a catcher, and dispute Knobler’s assertion that they aren’t.

    • notsureifsrs 3 years ago

      i don’t think sending a scout denotes aggressive pursuit so much as standard diligence

  8. BradyAndersonsSideburns 3 years ago

    I don’t see where adding a Kelly Shoppach is really an improvement over Jesus Flores

  9. A platoon of Salty and Lavarnway would be pretty amazing offensively.  Salty hits RHP very well and Lavarnway mashes lefties.  Obviously you would want to get Lavarnway into a decent amount of games if we brought him up and the duo wouldnt be specifically great defensively, but they could hit like Tek in his prime.  

    Also, Salty’s ba/obp this year dont look amazing, but he has had at least four or five hits taken away by the shift.  A couple games ago he tried to beat the shift with a bunt down the vacant third baseline – it didnt work out, but if he can practice and get that bunt down a few times the shift will probably disappear. 

    Ask yourself this – If Salty was hitting .285 for the year, would this be an emergence for him?  Well if he had just three of those base hits back that is exactly what he would be hitting.

  10. Dynasty22 3 years ago

    “Hey guys, I’m willing to come back.”


  11. Certainly, I don’t mean to disparage Salty. I’m actually a Salty defender, but he’s not been so good that he’ll play 9 out of 10 games and Shoppach will barely play. 

  12. MaineSox 3 years ago

    My guess would be mid level prospects.  Back-up catchers – even relatively good ones – don’t have a ton of value.

  13. Fangaffes 3 years ago

    Shoppach and a pitcher for a better pitcher might get some traction from a club that really needs a catcher.

  14. Spit Ball 3 years ago

    That is why I say wait and trade Shoppach closer to the deadline.. He may appear more like a starter at that point depending on injuries and would likely fetch you more value.

  15. MaineSox 3 years ago

    I still think it would make a lot more sense to trade Salty instead of Shoppach.  If they deal Shoppach they are, presumably, left with Salty and Lavarnway as catchers and none of the possible options make sense at that point (Salty and Lavarnway platooning? No.  Lavarnway catching with Salty as the back-up catcher? Even more no.  Salty catching with Lavarnway as the back-up catcher? Very, very no.)

  16. notsureifsrs 3 years ago

    this made me squint

  17. BoSoXaddict 3 years ago

    I agree. I don’t think the Sox should by any means be LOOKING to trade Salty..but he should definitely be on the table with Lavarnway in the wings..

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