JAN. 20: The Rangers and Astros are still discussing a Corporan trade following his DFA earlier today, tweets Jon Morosi of FOX Sports. SB Nation’s Chris Cotillo hears that Texas is emerging as the “clear favorite” to acquire Corporan (Twitter link).
JAN. 15: The Rangers are still on the hunt for catching help, and a pair of reports have them in pursuit of Astros backstop Carlos Corporan and free agent Geovany Soto. Evan Drellich of the Houston Chronicle reports that the Astros and Rangers have discussed a trade of Corporan, while Jeff Wilson of the Fort Worth Star-Telegram adds (via Twitter) that the team is also interested in Soto.
Corporan, 31, batted .235/.302/.376 with six homers in 190 plate appearances for Houston last year. Over the past three seasons, he’s batted .237/.297/.383 with 17 homers in 485 PAs. That line should give some kind of rough expectation for the type of production that Corporan can provide — questionable on-base skills with respectable pop for a catcher. (His .146 isolated power in that time is 11 points better than the league-average catcher in 2014.)
From a defensive standpoint, Corporan has typically graded out very well in terms of pitch-framing, and his 25.5 percent caught-stealing rate over the past three seasons is merely a tick below the league average of 27 percent. Corporan is arbitration eligible for the first time this winter and projects to earn a very reasonable $1MM. He can be controlled through the 2017 season.
Soto, of course, is no stranger to the Rangers organization, having spent parts of the past three seasons in Texas. With the Rangers, he’s batted a combined .223/.287/.401, displaying the same low-OBP, above-average pop skill set that Corporan has brought to the table. He’s thrown out a superior 28.6 percent of runners in the past three seasons, though his once strong framing grades have declined, per Baseball Prospectus and StatCorner.com.
It seems then, based on these targets, that the Rangers are comfortable without a big-name catcher behind the dish after missing out on a notable name yesterday in the form of Evan Gattis, who was traded to the Astros. Any catcher acquired by Texas would pair with Robinson Chirinos, whose 338 PAs were far and away a career-high last season for an injury-plagued Rangers club. Chirinos hit .239/.290/.415 with 13 homers in that time.