Thursday, 29 August 2013
So You Want a New Catcher?
Something something JP Arencibia. We all know. Here's the problem; few upcoming free agent catchers are any good.
Brian McCann is certainly the best one out there, if he's actually available, but he'll probably be expensive and kind of risky. 2012 was rough, and he's missed time this year with injuries.
Jarrod Saltalamacchia is probably the next most attractive option, assuming the Red Sox just let him walk, but even then, his production this year seems like a pretty huge outlier (.384 babip, average, OBP and wOBA/wRC+ way above career norms).
Carlos Ruiz is another case that might not actually make it to free agency, given the Phillies' desire to resign all of their old players, but he's missed time due to steroid suspensions and injuries over the last two years, and his 2013 walkrate is sitting at an all-too-familiar 3.5%. He's also 35.
Kurt Suzuki used to be good, briefly, but his offensive skills have diminished greatly, and he's just fair behind the plate.
Geovany Soto used to be good, briefly, but his offensive skills have diminished greatly, and he's just fair behind the plate.
I'm fully sold on the idea that JPA needs to go, or at least have his role significantly reduced, but I just don't really know what the plan is to replace him. The state of catching is pretty sad right now, to the point where teams probably can't afford to let go of any of the worthwhile guys listed above (i.e. McCann, Salty and Ruiz), and it's probably not worth the money, let alone the time and effort to pursue the others (i.e. Suzuki and Soto).
Unless someone can finally get through to JPA and get him to tweak that godawful approach, I feel like I'm going to be pining for Travis d'Arnaud for at least a year.