31 October 2011

Free Agents - Backup Catcher

This is the second of a series of posts on free agents.

C | 1B | 2B | 3B | SS | LF | CF | RF | DH | SP | RHRP | LHRP

Ramon Castro would be a fine backup catcher
A place where the Orioles could gain a minor improvement would be back up catcher.  John Hester (AAA - 674 OPS) and Caleb Joseph (AA - 692 OPS) do not look like options that would result is anything above replacement value.  Therefore, options have to come from outside the organization.  For the purpose of this post, we are considering anything above 0.6 WAR / 150 PA as starting catcher material and anything above 0.4 WAR / 150 PA as a good backup catcher.  We would not consider anything below 0.2 WAR / 150 PA.  The values were calculated by weighting performance of the past three seasons normalized each year to 150 PA.

Potential Starters (better than 0.6 WAR / 150 PA)
Ramon Hernandez (0.79)
Hernandez will want a situation where he will see 300 or more plate appearances.  That would not be with Baltimore.
Henry Blanco (0.98)
Blanco could be considered as a starting catcher option for a team in need.  However, he has never been used as a starter his last three years.
Ramon Castro (0.91)
Castro has also shown quite a lot of value in backup catcher time.  He could be seen as a starter by some teams.  He may also prefer to go to a situation with a weak starting catcher.
Jose Molina (0.71)
Molina has also not been considered a starter in his past three seasons even though he has performed quite well during that time.
Ryan Doumit (0.68)
A somewhat poor defensive catcher with a decent bat.  He would also be able to back up other positions on the field.  After a solid 2011 season, he may be looking for a situation to start.

Good Backups (between 0.4 and 0.6)
Chris Snyder (0.59)
Snyder has been seen as a starting catcher at times over the past three years.  He really is not one.  He might be looking for a situation to become a starter.
Kelly Shoppach (0.54)
Shoppach has been used as a part timer with Tampa.  He is a solid backup and may be an option.
Rod Barajas (0.45)
Barajas has been used as the primary starter in split catching squads.  He is likely to look for weak catching teams.

Poor Backups - MiL Contract with camp invite (between 0.2 and 0.4)
Jason Varitek (0.39)
He is not coming to Baltimore.
Ivan Rodriguez (0.36)
Teams will likely overpay for him and those teams will likely have a weak catching squad.
Jason Kendall (0.31)
Kendall will not go to a team with a strong starting catcher.  He has never been a backup.
Matt Treanor (0.22)
He could be a rather cheap option

AAA Signings
Rob Johnson, Josh Bard, Dioner Navarro, Brian Schneider, and Gerald Laird.

I would offer a 2.5 MM contract to any of the players in the first tier with a 0.5 MM buyout on a 3 MM option.  I would lean toward Ryan Doumit because of his offensive capabilities as a pinch hitter.  Doumit made 5.2 MM last year, so he may not be eager to take a 3 MM guaranteed.  Jose Molina, Ramon Castro, or Henry Blanco would also be good choices.  None of them were paid more than 1.2 MM last year.  The Orioles would be likely to grab any of them for far less than they are likely worth.

1 comment:

SeanP said...

I think that they have a fair chance at signing Doumit because they can offer him lots of playing time.