While rumors about J.T. Realmuto continue to dominate the catching market, we’ve already seen such notable backstops as Yan Gomes, Kurt Suzuki, and Brian McCann switch teams this offseason. Here’s the latest on some other catchers….
- The Athletics have checked in with Wilson Ramos, Susan Slusser of the San Francisco Chronicle reports, as the club explores its options on the catching front. It would be something of a surprise if the A’s went to the top of the market to find a catcher, as Ramos would require a pretty pricey multi-year commitment (MLBTR projects three years and $36MM) that could stretch Oakland’s traditionally limited payroll. While the A’s could boost payroll in an effort to return to the postseason, their pitching staff has enough holes that it probably deserves the lion’s share of dollars if the team did increase its spending. Committing multiple years to Ramos would also block catching prospect Sean Murphy, one of the Athletics’ better minor leaguers. It could also be that the A’s were simply doing their due diligence in talking to Ramos, just to see if a minor bargain could be found.
- A reunion with Jonathan Lucroy also isn’t out of the question for the Athletics, though Slusser reports that other teams have shown interest and the A’s are only offering Lucroy a one-year deal worth under $5MM. Lucroy is amenable to a one-year pact but wants a larger salary. Lucroy only hit .241/.291/.325 over 454 PA for the A’s last season, though he drew praise for his clubhouse leadership and handling of a pitching staff that was near-decimated by injuries.
- Chris Herrmann is one of several veteran catching options the Tigers are considering for next season, MLB.com’s Jason Beck reports (via Twitter). Grayson Greiner, John Hicks, and recently-acquired veteran Bobby Wilson comprise Detroit’s current catching core, with top prospect Jake Rogers waiting in the wings but still in need of more minor league seasoning. Herrmann was recently non-tendered by the Astros after being claimed off waivers from the Mariners after the season. The 31-year-old is perhaps known as much for his ability to play first base and left field than he is for his work specifically as a catcher, and Herrmann has a career .633 OPS over 898 PA with the Twins, D’Backs, and Mariners since 2012.
- Seven teams have been in contact with free agent Stephen Vogt, MassLive.com’s Chris Cotillo reports (Twitter link). The bigger story here is that Vogt plans to play in 2019, which is good news for the veteran catcher in the wake of shoulder surgery that kept him off the field last season and threatened to end his career. Now, however, Vogt is hoping to be ready for Spring Training at the earliest and April or May at the latest, and he is now throwing from 70 feet.