Trade Talks For Jose Lobaton Heating Up

Marc Topkin of the Tampa Bay Times reports (via Twitter) that trade talks for Rays catcher Jose Lobaton have begun to heat up. Topkin notes that teams with interest or need at the position include the Diamondbacks, Indians, Rockies, White Sox, Mets and Nationals.

The 29-year-old Lobaton slashed a solid .249/.320/.394 with seven homers for the Rays in 2013 and also belted one of the most dramatic and improbable home runs of the postseason. A switch-hitter, Lobaton has historically been better from the right side of the dish than the left, but he bucked that trend and swung the bat better as a lefty (.736 OPS) than as a righty (.653) in 2013.

While Lobaton is a solid, controllable bat — he is a Super Two player that is not eligible for free agency until the 2017-18 offseason — at a thin position, he also comes with some defensive question marks. Lobaton has caught just 16 percent of attempted base stealers in his career and was below average at blocking pitches in the dirt in 2013 (per Fangraphs). While he's not a poor pitch-framer, he also doesn't add significant value in that department, either (per Matthew Carruth's work at StatCorner).

Lobaton has been connected to the White Sox and Nationals in trade talks so far this offseason, with the Nats being the most recently linked club. A trade would seem to be beneficial for both Lobaton and the Rays; the Rays acquired and extended Ryan Hanigan this offseason in addition to re-signing Jose Molina, leaving Lobaton without a clear path to playing time. Additionally, a trade would save the Rays a bit of cash, as Lobaton avoided arbitration by agreeing to a $900K salary for 2014.


17 Responses to Trade Talks For Jose Lobaton Heating Up Leave a Reply

  1. TbRays14 1 year ago

    Back up for the white sox? Seems like a good fit

    • jwsox 1 year ago

      More like starter. In all reality. I hope the whitesox make a move for him. And let him, flowers (who was supposedly hurt all year last year), the rule 5 kid(who I honestly think will break camp) and phigley. All compete for the 2 spots

      • Christophe Lachance-Tardif 1 year ago

        A platoon Phegley/Lobaton would be nice.

    • Christophe Lachance-Tardif 1 year ago

      Yeah, it wouldn’t suprise me if he ended up having more playing time than Phegley and Flowers if he would be traded to Chicago.

    • Jeff Weissbuch 1 year ago

      I would give him every chance to start over Flowers

    • JCCfromDC 1 year ago

      White Sox trade for Lobaton, Nats get Nieto back. Win-win!

  2. algionfriddo 1 year ago

    Lobaton was only 14% (63-10) at throwing out runners. Wow. JMolina was at 29%.

    • MB923 1 year ago

      That would be 630% :)

      • Ben_Cherington 1 year ago

        FACTS:

        Jose Lobaton once thew out Mike Trout before he got to bat!

        Jose Lobaton once told Ellsbury he would throw him out if he got on base, Jacoby agreed then struck out looking to save time!

  3. TampaGators 1 year ago

    The most memorable part of the Rays season last year for me had to be all the clutch/game winning hits Lobaton had. Hopefully we can get something decent for him, he’s got a good bat and is controllable, regardless of his defense that has value.

  4. Kickalicious 1 year ago

    Why whould the mets need lobaton they already have Recker as a pretty solid backup

    • AceRuby 1 year ago

      Insurance incase Recker doesn’t pan out as a backup maybe?

  5. cachhubguy 1 year ago

    Another catcher that can’t catch or throw.

  6. Matt Bennett 1 year ago

    Jose Lobaton is by no means a starting catcher in the major leagues, but considering the overall lack of talented catchers, he should make for a decent back-up. He would most likely be an upgrade over many back-ups around the league, at least offensively.

  7. The1andonlyZack 1 year ago

    White Sox don’t need another dud behind the plate…thanks!

    • Ted Matula 1 year ago

      Amen. This is a lost season. I’d rather see Nieto get a spot. And see if Flowers can find some consistency at the plate. Flowers seems to be pretty solid defensively and handling the pitchers making a sub-.700 OPS with 15 HR tolerable.

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