Trade for Catcher in the Works?

Clearing off the ol’ desk real quick. Enjoy…

A reader alerted me to these two articles over at Prospectus where Jonah Keri interviews Padre GM Kevin Towers. As usual, Towers is pretty candid and it’s a good read.

The reader who sent this also noted, “He [Towers] says he’s working on a trade for a catcher with 3 of the 8 playoff clubs, 2 AL and one NL. Any thoughts on who it might be?”

Thoughts, me? Yeah, I’ve got a few. The only starting catchers on the eight playoff clubs who aren’t eligible to file for free agency at the end of the season are Damian Miller, A.J. Pierzynski, Jorge Posada, Jason Varitek, and Ramon Hernandez. There are also some guys riding pine that might be useful: Florida’s Ramon Castro and Minnesota’s Matt LeCroy. My guess is that two of the catchers Towers is looking at are Castro and one of the Twins’ backstops.

Towers has had his eye on Castro for some time (including as part of a rumored Rondell White deal back in August). Of course, Castro also has some legal issues to deal with right now, which complicates matters. As for Minnesota, LeCroy can hit but isn’t considered much of a defender. It’s hard to say if he’d be a full-time solution, but he could be part of the puzzle. Pierzynski makes more sense, although his main strengths are hitting for average and annoying the opposition. And with wunderkind Joe Mauer tearing up the minors, the Twins might be willing to move someone sooner rather than later.

The one other scenario I could see unfolding is something involving Posada and either Ryan Klesko or Phil Nevin. It’s a long shot, but the Yankees did show interest in Klesko earlier this past season. Beyond that, Miller and Hernandez don’t strike me as all that much better than Brad Ausmus, another catcher the Padres are said to want.

One final name that intrigues me is Bobby Estalella, who recently became a free agent. He’s pretty much an all-or-nothing hitter, but the one year he had more than 200 big-league at-bats, he did end up at .234/.357/.468. Not too bad for a catcher. And he’s only 29 years old. I’m not sure he’s the answer to anything, but he might be worth a shot.

Or not.

Other Stuff

  • Josh Woodward. Blog of an Ohio-based singer-songwriter.
  • Elliott Smith Dead at 34 (Pitchfork). This is just really sad. Smith was one of my favorite songwriters of the current generation.
  • Zimmered On a lighter note, thanks to one of our readers, the Urban Dictionary has a new definition.

That’s all for now. Catch ya soon…

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