The Rangers have reportedly been in the market for a catcher in recent weeks, but that search has apparently been put on the back burner. On Sunday, Texas GM Jon Daniels indicated that he will not be adding another catcher between now and Opening Day, as T.R. Sullivan of MLB.com writes.
“At this point I anticipate both our catchers are in camp,” Daniels said. “We are open if there is a true improvement to the team, but we’re not going to change for change’s sake.”
Daniels admitted that he has talked “a little bit” with rival teams about acquiring a catcher, but Sullivan gleans that the asking prices for Derek Norris and Jonathan Lucroy have simply been too high. Ultimately then, the Rangers will head into April with Robinson Chirinos behind the dish and a handful of veteran catchers jostling for the No. 2 job.
But, aside from Bobby Wilson, Chris Gimenez, and Michael McKenry, Sullivan notes that 2010 sixth-round pick Brett Nicholas has looked strong in camp and could also find his way on to the roster. Daniels says that the team wasn’t sure what they had in Nicholas but his performance as of late has the club viewing him as “a big league-capable catcher.” On the other hand, Nicholas can be stashed in the minors whereas the team’s trio of veterans probably can’t. Gimenez is out-of-options and Wilson and McKenry have opt-out opportunities if they’re not on the big league roster.
In a perfect world, the Rangers would probably prefer to have Lucroy or Norris to shore things up behind the plate, but they are not presently willing to meet the demands of the Brewers or Padres in order to make a trade happen. The salaries of both players ($4MM and $2.9MM), respectively, are also factors. Even though those are relatively modest sums, the team is already said to be well over their projected payroll thanks to the Ian Desmond signing.