The Indians are in first place in the American League Central, yet they possess one of the most glaring weaknesses of any contender in the game. Cleveland catchers this season — Yan Gomes (currently injured), Roberto Perez and Chris Gimenez — have combined to bat a staggering .172/.225/.296 in 457 plate appearances. The company line has been that they’re high on the defensive capabilities of each backstop, but no club in all of Major League Baseball has received worse production out of its catchers. How best to remedy that situation — or whether they even need to — is up for debate.
Obvious Trade Candidates
Paul Hoynes of the Cleveland Plain Dealer writes today that Cleveland has had some discussions with the division-rival Twins about Kurt Suzuki in the past, but “there’s nothing happening at the moment.” Suzuki cleared trade waivers yesterday, making him a logical candidate for any club in need of catching help. The main sticking point for Cleveland, it seems, is that Suzuki isn’t regarded as a strong defender, and he would obviously be tasked with learning an entirely new pitching staff in a short amount of time in the event that the Indians made a move. That’s a tall order for any catcher, and it could conceivably lead to further difficulty in framing/blocking pitches if he’s not fully familiar with the full arsenal of each pitcher he’s catching. Then again, Suzuki is affordable (owed $1.5MM through season’s end) and hitting .281/.321/.435 — an enormous upgrade over the offensive deficiencies that have plagued Cleveland catchers in 2016.Read more