Rangers Targeting Catchers This Offseason

Given Mike Napoli's status as an impending free agent, the Rangers will be looking for catching help this offseason, according to MLB.com's T.R. Sullivan. The Rangers have been ambivalent when asked if Napoli will receive a qualifying offer, according to Sullivan. As we learned last week, that offer would be $13.3MM on a one-year deal.

Sullivan also writes that it's likely the Rangers and Blue Jays will enter into trade discussions this offseason, given Toronto's catching surplus. The Blue Jays have J.P. Arencibia at the Major League level, with Travis d'Arnaud knocking on the door in Triple-A. Both profile as starting catchers, and the Jays also have Jeff Mathis and the recently claimed Bobby Wilson on their 40-man roster. Toronto would likely seek pitching depth in any deal involving a catcher.

Rangers GM Jon Daniels acquired Geovany Soto over the summer as a means to bolster the position for the stretch run. Soto currently profiles as the starter in Texas, but would become a non-tender candidate if the Rangers were to add a significant piece in the offseason. The 2008 NL Rookie of the Year earned $4.3MM in 2012 and would be due for a raise through arbitration despite hitting just .198/.270/.343. MLBTR's Ben Nicholson-Smith examined Soto as a non-tender candidate back in August.

All of this, of course, is assuming that the Rangers are unable to retain Napoli's services. Napoli hopes to return to the Rangers, according to Sullivan, but that will be dependent on what kind of offers he receives. Another factor could be how he's used in the lineup. Napoli went on record in July stating that he prefers catching to playing first base, so he could have interest in a team that will use him beind the plate more (though that's just my own speculation).

Check out MLBTR's 2013 free agent list for a full look at the upcoming class of catchers that the Rangers could pursue.


79 Responses to Rangers Targeting Catchers This Offseason Leave a Reply

  1. johnsilver 3 years ago

    I saw Max Ramirez’s name floating around the other day on the discard pile.

    • safari_punch 3 years ago

      Surprised the Jays haven’t claimed him.

      • We had to make sure we had space for known slugger Bobby Wilson.

      • johnsilver 3 years ago

        He seems like would be a decent backup at some point. highly touted at one point at Texas.. Defense was supposed to have been the holdup and I know Boston had him for a short cpl weeks before roster crunch forced Epstein to expose him to waivers, then he had him again at Chicago am *thinking* and he’s floated around with think the SFG system for a bit.. Just can’t quite crack the MLB..

        Maybe going “home” to his 1st system more or less will do it.

    • withpower 3 years ago

      I forgot Max Ramirez existed. He had a nice year in AAA now that I’m looking him up.

      • johnsilver 3 years ago

        Dude can hit, that’s never really been his issue. Seem to recall reading a scouting report way back that he was really slow moving behind the plate and was destined to be a backup C/DH at the MLB level, but yeah.. Like you posted.. I looked up his MiLB stats also and even though he mostly has played at the PCL AAA the last few seasons, he has hit well and seems like if he had learned **anything** about catching he would have gotten a chance by now.

    • TXHC 3 years ago

      He can stay there.

  2. Brady Smith 3 years ago

    I know this is unlikely, but what if they tried to acquire either Carlos Ruiz or Erik Kratz from the Phillies? Philly has both Sebastian Valle and Tommy Joseph knocking on the door, and I’m sure both of Chooch and Kratz’s value went up after their stellar performances this past season. Just a thought.

    • $1529282 3 years ago

      I don’t think Kratz fooled anyone into thinking he’s a legitimate long-term option behind the plate. Showed good power but we’re talking about a 32-year-old career Minor Leaguer who posted a .306 OBP.

  3. Dylan 3 years ago

    RAJr. Should atleast listen on Carlos Ruiz…his value has never been higher.

    • crashcameron 3 years ago

      true, but what does Texas have? Andrus sure but that’s expensive for Texas. Cruz, maybe, but another injury risk. and then Phillie would need a catcher — a catcher to replace one who has become the most consistent hitter in their banged-up, bloated (non-mound) lineup

      • Dylan 3 years ago

        Phillies need to fix some things this year. I don’t want to see Ruiz gone, but I’d imagine that the Phillies would want one of Olt/Martin for Ruiz. They could even send both Lee and Ruiz together to Texas for a big return. Again, I think both teams are going to do something big this offseason because of their season this year.

        • You Know Who 3 years ago

          Getting Olt would be fantastic. Obviously a few pieces would be added and I don’t think lee will be traded but Ruiz could be gone after this great year and we need a 3b more then anything else.

  4. Jaysfan724 3 years ago

    How about Mathis and Wilson? You can have the whole Angel crew to dominate against LA.

  5. rikersbeard 3 years ago

    What about something along these lines (don’t think it would actually happen): JP Arencibia, 1 of the big 3, Casey jansen, Cardona, plus for Elvis Andrus and Derek Holland

    • $17867741 3 years ago

      Why would the Blue Jays need ANOTHER short-stop? And Derek Holland really isn’t that good. Even if he can boost the rotation, it’s still not what they need. Huge stretch for the Rangers….

      • rikersbeard 3 years ago

        Jays need a top shelf middle infielder. Move escobar or Andrus to 2B. Keep Hech at AAA. Or if you want trade one of escobar or Hech. Andrus is an improvement of either. Holland is a solid middle of the rotation arm. The jays could definitely could use that.

        • $17867741 3 years ago

          On a good year, Escobar is better than Andrus by a long shot. On a bad year, Andrus is better than Escobar.

          The Blue Jays just nabbed Aviles for Farrell + Carpenter. If anything, the middle infield will be Escobar/Hech or Escobar/Aviles with Hech in AAA. There’s really no direct NEED to grab Andrus.

          If the Blue Jays trade for a starter, I would rather them grab Josh Johnson than Derek Holland.

          • rikersbeard 3 years ago

            Neither Hech nor Aviles look they have the bats to play at 2B. It would be unfortunate to head into next season with either of those at 2B. But maybe you meant moving Escobar to 2B and starting Hech…

            I would rather Josh Johnson too, but he would be much riskier and a FA at the end of the year.

          • crashcameron 3 years ago

            Texas also needs a FOR and Johnson might be even be a better fit for them than Jays. might be an easier get, too (Leonys Martin and Ogando?)

          • rikersbeard 3 years ago

            Not sure what you are basing your Escobar v. Andrus comparison on. Really don’t see how Yunel is better by a long shot.

          • $17867741 3 years ago

            Look at the yearly stats:

            Escobar has 4 good years, with 2 bad years:
            2007: .326/.385/.451
            2008: .288/.366/.401
            2009: .299/.377/.436
            2010: .256/.337/.318
            2011: .290/.369/.413
            2012: .253/.300/.344

            Andrus’ best year so far:
            2012: .286/.349/.378

            *In 2012, Andrus set career highs in BA, OBP and SLG.

            So I maintain what I said before.
            “On a good year, Escobar is better than Andrus by a long shot. On a bad year, Andrus is better than Escobar.”

          • rikersbeard 3 years ago

            Seems like a funny way to compare the players. Lets look at fWAR:

            Escobar (age 30) from 2008-12: 3.6, 4.4, 2.0, 4.2, 1.8

            Andrus (age 24) from 2009-12: 3.4, 2.0, 4.4, 4.2.

            Not sure how Escobar’s good years are “better by a long shot.”

            Also I would much prefer to have the 24 year old coming off of a 4.2 fWAR season, then the 30 year old coming off the 1.8 fWAR season.

          • $17867741 3 years ago

            WAR is still a wildly inaccurate measurement because it tries to categorize the defense. Even o-WAR isn’t that accurate either.

            If you want an accurate measure of anything, use wRC+:
            Escobar from 2007 – 2012: 121, 106, 120, 83, 117, 75
            Andrus from 2009 – 2012: 81, 75, 91, 95

            *wRC+ of 100 is defined to be league average

            Offensively, Andrus has been BELOW league average for his entire career! On the other hand, at peak levels, Escobar generates 21% more runs than league average.

            Despite this mini-debate, it still doesn’t answer my original question: “Why would the Blue Jays need ANOTHER shortstop?”

            Your original answer, ‘that Hech and Aviles have weak bats’, is insufficient. There is no possible way to justify losing Arenicbia + one of the Lansing 3 + Jansen + Cardona in favor for Andrus’ below-average bat.

        • bustaheims 3 years ago

          The Jays have plenty of guys who are solid middle of the rotation arms. What they really need is a true front of the rotation arm, and Holland is not that.

          • rikersbeard 3 years ago

            I agree they need a F.O.R., but those sure prove hard to find. Also, it is less obvious to me that the jays have plenty of middle of the rotation guys. Alvarez is a back-end. Happ is a back-end. Romero is a mystery. Morrow is a front end. Who did you have in mind for the middle?

          • $17867741 3 years ago

            Okay. Then explain how Derek Holland is a middle of the rotation starter if you consider Happ to be ‘back end’.

          • Alverez may prove to be the best of the bunch yet. The guy is 21 years old…

    • crashcameron 3 years ago

      Jays’ ‘big 3’? bats or arms, please name the 3. if you’re talking Bautista or Encarnacion: lunacy. Brandon Morrow? why would Toronto do that? Romero has little value at this moment. And if it was Andrus, then the Jays would have a 3: three shortstops

    • Bluejaysnation 3 years ago

      As a Jay’s fan I’d be upset with that deal. First off Andrus is over-rated. Second, giving that up and not coming away with a 1-2 SP would be taking a step backwards.

      • Konrad Verloc 3 years ago

        Andrus is not overrated. He doesn’t hit homers. That’s really the only flaw in his game. Otherwise he is pretty great.

        • Bluejaysnation 3 years ago

          He’s good. Not great. Slightly better than Escobar with more upside but definitely not worth anywhere near what the guy above suggested the Jay’s trade for.

  6. MLB_in_the_Know 3 years ago

    Brian McCann for Ian Kinsler and Tanner Scheppers.

    • texasmariner 3 years ago

      I read that He’s a non-tender candidate, I don’t see the Rangers giving up Kinsler for him at any time let alone given his current physical condition.

      • CT 3 years ago

        McCann is not a non-tender candidate. He battled a shoulder injury all year, and his numbers were well below his norm.

    • rundmc1981 3 years ago

      Mike Olt.

  7. $21621694 3 years ago

    Yorvit Torrealba….. Ohh wait….

  8. snowles 3 years ago

    Boy it wasn’t too long ago Texas was awash in catching depth. Ya never know…

  9. Beersy 3 years ago

    It’s too bad Nick Hundley laid such an egg last season. If he had a season even remotely close to his previous season, the Padres would have had quite the trade chip.

  10. chicothekid 3 years ago

    Thole is available from the Mets. Please take him. PLEASE!

  11. Howard 3 years ago

    JPA for Matt Harrison

    • $17867741 3 years ago

      Naturally a solid deal. However, Harrison is weak against AL East teams, so no.

      • Dynasty22 3 years ago

        You think the Blue Jays would be the ones rejecting this deal?

        • TXHC 3 years ago

          My thoughts exactly. Harrison is going to cost you D’Arnaud. And even then I probably still wouldn’t do it. Actually scratch that, after thinking about it for 5 more seconds it’s a big hell no.

          • deere5800 3 years ago

            So by that logic you’re expecting Joe Saunders instead of Upton in a Profar trade with Arizona? Give me a break.

          • Tko11 3 years ago

            Saunders is on the Orioles…

          • TXHC 3 years ago

            This doesn’t even make sense. Are you trying to say that JPA is better than D’Arnaud, or that Joe Saunders is better than Justin Upton (not to mention he was traded to Baltimore)? Either way, ROFL.

          • jjs91 3 years ago

            “Harrison is going to cost you D’Arnaud” No he wont.

          • TXHC 3 years ago

            If you think the Rangers would just give away a 27 year old 18 game winning legit #2 starter that is under control for cheap until 2015 then I don’t know what to tell you. Doesn’t matter, the Rangers aren’t moving him so you guys can probably forget this whole subthread ever happened.

          • jjs91 3 years ago

            It’s the legit #2 thing that makes the difference one year doesnt make you a legit #2. It’s kind of how ranger fans thought holland would be a great #1 this year.

        • hefe300 3 years ago

          Yes. If the Rangers made Harrison available they’d want a lot more than a catcher with a .275 OBP. The power is nice, but his .710-.720 OPS is mediocre even by catcher standards and it’s not like he’s he’s anything special defensively. 2 years of a #2 starter is more valuable than 4 years of a middle of the road catcher.

          • Dynasty22 3 years ago

            You should reread my statement…I asked the poster if they thought the Blue Jays would reject JPA for Harrison, but yes I agree with you.

        • $17867741 3 years ago

          Both sides should reject the deal.

      • $22264602 3 years ago

        Let the bias go man , I like JPA and even I would accept that deal.

        • Lunchbox45 3 years ago

          JPA would hit 30 bombs for the rangers.. he wouldn’t get on base, but there is value in the homers.

          plus most catchers can’t run, jpa especially so, whats the point of them getting on base, need like 3 hits to score him

        • Guest 3 years ago

          There is no bias, just saying if we need a starter from Texas, why not Harrison or someone else? I’m not saying Harrison or JPA by themselves though in a deal would be it and thats all. I’d make it so it’s a fair trade.

    • Konrad Verloc 3 years ago

      No way. You’re going to trade away one of the 2 consistent arms in the rotation?

  12. leachim2 3 years ago

    Nick Hundley is available!

  13. FS54 3 years ago

    I honestly think Jesus Flores might not be a bad option if he runs out of room in DC. His bat will be alright in that park and he is not bad behind the plate.

  14. Baseball Lifer 3 years ago

    JPA & R. Romero for I. Kinsler, J. Borbon, and J Grimm?

    • hefe300 3 years ago

      As a Ranger fan, I don’t hate that deal and I’m more bullish on Ian than some.

    • crashcameron 3 years ago

      tell me yer kidding. wouldnt happen even if Tex paid all of Kinsler’s ridic contract

      • Baseball Lifer 3 years ago

        Is Kinsler contract that much worse that Romero’s??? Afterall 22.5 million spreadout over 3 years of a guy with a 5.77 era, 101 walks, and 198 hits, in 181 innings sounds pretty ridiclous too, given Romero’s resuts.

        • way to take a bad 3 months and make it out to be like he didnt have a good to very good 3 years prior that.

          • Baseball Lifer 3 years ago

            You completely missed the point…. BOTH Romero and Kinsler have bad contracts given there performance last year. Realizing that Kinsler too has had some very good years in years past as well….. But crashman is too one-sided to realize that Romero has no real value at this point, and JPA is average at best (minus the HR every now and then). His OPS is poor, and his not a defensive minded backstop.
            It was simply a possible salary swap suggestion, and/or change of scenery for BOTH Romero and Kinsler. If you dont like the proposal, that is one thing. But you need to understand what it actually is before making such a one-sided, knee jerk, ridicolous comment.

  15. iheartyourfart 3 years ago

    nick hundley would be an excellent fit for them, but i don’t think the padres would want to sell so low on him.

  16. D’Arnaud for Perez and Alfaro.

  17. bluejayspwn 3 years ago

    D’arnaud for ogando ?

  18. I hear Ivan Rodriguez has a son playing in the pros now..

  19. Jonathan Washington 3 years ago

    Alex Rodriguez Should Be Traded To Texas For Mike Napoli No Joke Cause That Could Revitalize A-Rod Being From Texas From 2001-2003

  20. Konrad Verloc 3 years ago

    I think the way to go is to sign Napoli to be the primary DH and backup catcher, and look far and wide for a good defensive catcher to start 4 or 5 games a week, doesn’t matter if he can’t hit. The Rangers should have enough offense to cover for one weak spot in the lineup, and they really were hurt this past season by poor defensive play (including throwing out runners) from the position.

  21. rikersbeard 3 years ago

    Why? If they could get something valuable like a starter or 2B, then I would be totally fine if he was part of a package for that. Bullpen pieces are much easier to replace.

    Don’t get me wrong. I think he did great for the blue jays and he is a good piece to have going forward, but if he could be used to plug some bigger holes then I think you go for it.

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