Mariners Looking for a “Defensive Catcher”

Dave · December 3, 2012 at 10:48 am · Filed Under Mariners 

It’s not news, necessarily, but Ryan Divish has some useful comments from Jack Zduriencik on what he’s looking for at catcher, after weeks of having the M’s tied to players that didn’t really make any sense for the organization.

“Right now, we’ll have Montero and Jaso catch,” Zduriencik said. “Both guys have their skill set they bring to the table. Neither guy is what you would call a defensive receiver. Both of them are offensive catchers. We’ll have our ears open certainly to see how the right type of catcher would fit. You don’t want to take away their ABs right now just for a defensive catcher. Our needs are, quite frankly, offense. But I do think we have to address a defensive possibility if it exists.”

So, basically, Jack is looking for exactly the kind of catcher we talked about a few months ago – a right-handed catch-and-throw guy who can platoon with Jaso until Zunino arrives and then be easily discarded if need be. Not a full-time catcher. Not a guy who wants multiple years. Not a guy who is a C/1B/DH type. They already have those. They don’t need another full-time catcher. They need a specific skillset – good defender who can hit lefties. Basically, they need Kelly Shoppach, or some version of Kelly Shoppach. And that’s the kind of catcher you should expect the Mariners to acquire.

Mike Napoli’s agent just used the Mariners to get more money from Boston. The Russell Martin thing was never real. That’s just not the kind of player who made sense for the Mariners. It never did, and now everyone can stop acting like catcher is some kind of big hole.

Comments

24 Responses to “Mariners Looking for a “Defensive Catcher””

  1. justinh on December 3rd, 2012 10:50 am

    FYI Baseball America Top Ten Prospects Out Today -

    1. Mike Zunino, c
    2. Taijuan Walker, rhp
    3. Danny Hultzen, lhp
    4. James Paxton, lhp
    5. Nick Franklin, ss/2b
    6. Brandon Maurer, rhp
    7. Carter Capps, rhp
    8. Stefen Romero, 2b
    9. Brad Miller, ss
    10. Victor Sanchez, rhp

    BEST
    TOOLS
    Best Hitter for Average Stefen Romero
    Best Power Hitter Mike Zunino
    Best Strike Zone Discipline Brad Miller
    Fastest Baserunner Mike Faulkner
    Best Athlete Patrick Kivlehan
    Best Fastball Carter Capps
    Best Curveball James Paxton
    Best Slider Carson Smith
    Best Changeup Danny Hultzen
    Best Control Anthony Fernandez
    Best Defensive Catcher Mike Zunino
    Best Defensive Infielder Gabriel Noriega
    Best Infield Arm Carlos Triunfel
    Best Defensive OF Denny Almonte
    Best Outfield Arm James Jones

    PROJECTED 2016
    LINEUP
    Catcher Mike Zunino
    First Base Justin Smoak
    Second Base Nick Franklin
    Third Base Kyle Seager
    Shortstop Brad Miller
    Left Field Dustin Ackley
    Center Field Michael Saunders
    Right Field Stefen Romero
    Designated Hitter Jesus Montero
    No. 1 Starter Felix Hernandez
    No. 2 Starter Taijuan Walker
    No. 3 Starter Danny Hultzen
    No. 4 Starter James Paxton
    No. 5 Starter Brandon Maurer
    Closer Carter Capps

  2. currcoug on December 3rd, 2012 11:12 am

    Miguel Olivo is always available…

  3. maqman on December 3rd, 2012 11:17 am

    I’m sure the M’s can sign a cheap but effective defensive catcher.

    The BA lists are fairly predictable. If they had a “Luckiest” pick that would be helpful.

    The term “defensive catcher” and the name Olivo should not appear in the same sentence.

  4. currcoug on December 3rd, 2012 11:21 am

    I was joking…

  5. The_Waco_Kid on December 3rd, 2012 11:32 am

    We should be able to get Shoppach for a cheap, 1-year deal. He hits lefties well. Perfect choice.

  6. Westside guy on December 3rd, 2012 11:36 am

    Miguel Olivo is always available…

    Thanks, currcoug – I just about spit coffee on my laptop!

  7. wsm on December 3rd, 2012 11:49 am

    Shoppach is a great fit for us – but we’re a lousy fit for Shoppach. Would you want to sign with a club that you know will view you as “easily discarded” in July?

    There’s no fewer than half a dozen teams looking for the same kind of catcher that Seattle wants. Most of the useful backups will sign with teams that will keep them employed all year. Detroit, both NYs, Texas, Arizona , etc. are all much more appealing destinations.

    Miguel Olivo may very well be among the best of what’s left over when the good jobs are taken.

  8. lalo on December 3rd, 2012 12:24 pm

    Hope the Butler for Paxton, Montero, Franklin speculation is false, that would be awful

  9. Thirteen on December 3rd, 2012 12:25 pm

    Offer Shoppach $2M for a year, doubling his 2011 salary, and tell him Zunino won’t get called up until September. That way he can be assured of a job for the whole year and get paid more than he ever has before–incentive enough to sign, I think.

  10. Thirteen on December 3rd, 2012 12:25 pm

    Offer Shoppach $2M for a year, doubling his 2011 salary, and tell him Zunino won’t get called up until September. That way he can be assured of a job for the whole year AND get paid–incentive enough to sign, I think.

  11. miscreant on December 3rd, 2012 12:41 pm

    Defensive catcher should not be at the top of the Mariners “to do” list. I would imagine that there will be several defensive catchers still available the day before Spring Training.

  12. joealb1 on December 3rd, 2012 12:54 pm

    Ronny Paulino?

  13. G-Man on December 3rd, 2012 12:55 pm

    Shoppach needn’t worry. Zunino will not get called up to stay in July.

  14. currcoug on December 3rd, 2012 12:57 pm

    I am dead set against dealing Franklin and Montero. Knowing our luck, they would end up being stars like Choo and Cabrera.

  15. Westside guy on December 3rd, 2012 1:13 pm

    I am dead set against dealing Franklin and Montero. Knowing our luck, they would end up being stars like Choo and Cabrera.

    Or Clement or Aumont or Gillies or Valbuena or Reed or Cleto or …

    Not everyone we trade ends up being a star elsewhere. :-D

  16. BackRub on December 3rd, 2012 1:38 pm

    Just have to say, BA ranking Stefen Romero over Brad Miller is crazy. Brad Miller projects to be a better hit at the MLB level because of his OBP skills. Given that, and then throw Miller has a better chance of sticking at SS than Romero has at sticking at 2B. I don’t even know how an argument can be made for that placement. A bad-base outcome for Miller is a good-fielding 2B who hits 245/325/355, so ~2 WAR. Good-case Romero is a below-average fielding 2B, w/ a 265/310/435 line which is not much more valuable than Miller. That’s in good vs bad case. Average case Miller would be something like 260/345/380 as a slighlty-below average SS. Compared that to Romero’s average case as 260/305/420 poor fielding 2B or a 1B/LF. Not comparision. Miller put up similar stats at the same levels in 2012 as Romero while being a year younger. His offensive skillset projects better to the MLB. He offers much more defensively. And scouts even like more. BA has no case.

  17. currcoug on December 3rd, 2012 1:45 pm

    West,

    You missed the golden opportunity to include Pineda. I believe Franklin is going to bounce back in 2013…and a lot of people thought we should have traded Kyle Seager. I am pleased we didn’t make that mistake.

  18. Westside guy on December 3rd, 2012 1:55 pm

    I still think Pineda’s going to eventually be a stud.

    It’d be funny if, during the winter meetings, another Pineda-for-Montero trade was announced.

  19. MrZDevotee on December 3rd, 2012 2:06 pm

    Not a Geoff Baker fan, but easily plausible that these are real talks being leaked. It’s pretty much Z’s job to have plan A thru plan Z all on the burner at once. You can’t possibly deal with the baseball offseason going one step at a time, in one direction at a time. Even if it was just a “we’re looking for a catcher” from the Bucs and Z saying “what about a & b”, “what about a, b & c”, and “no thanks”.

    I mean, maybe these talks are why we were looking at catchers to begin with? To fill the void if a Jaso trade came together (I could see multiple teams being interested in Jaso).

    Being diligent has great benefits, as you never know what OTHER trade talks might come out of considering a trade you aren’t really interested in on the surface. (Didn’t the Cliff Lee 3-way come together when we were inquiring about someone else entirely?)

    That said, it also seems clear that the Russell Martin acquisition changed any scenario there. So it’s a little bit lazy of Baker to bother writing it up without checking on these things first, instead of listing a bunch of caveats in the story itself.

  20. stevemotivateir on December 3rd, 2012 2:31 pm

    It does no harm to check-in with the bigger-name FA’s. It should be expected. Smart GM’s don’t assume anything.

    While most people are screaming for bats, especially outfielders (and I’m one of them), it surprises me how much attention has been given to catchers and first basemen by fans, while little or no attention is given to starting pitchers.

    I don’t know about anyone else here, but I’m not content with Beavan as the fifth starter. I would be even less comfortable if they have no intention of giving Furbush another shot at the rotation. This team could absolutely benefit from another starter.

  21. PackBob on December 3rd, 2012 3:18 pm

    Yay. Upgrade the outfield and get a pitcher.

  22. Choo on December 3rd, 2012 4:49 pm

    Probably going to be the best available bargain of Kelly Shoppach, Yorvit Torrealba, Ronny Paulino or Humberto Quintero. All are average to above-average receivers, and it would be nice if the short-share catcher could safeguard against late-inning PB/WP/SB.

  23. goalieump413 on December 3rd, 2012 5:57 pm

    This is just Jack Z publicly “stating” his need for a catcher with a defensive skillset. Good if you want organizations to get drawn into a trade, knowing full well that the M’s were dead last in run production.

    Lip service? Not really, just good salesmanship.

  24. rth1986 on December 3rd, 2012 7:24 pm

    I like the idea of bringing in Torrealba on a minor league or cheap one-year deal. He’s solid offensively and really strong behind the plate. I don’t think many people realize how solid he was in 2010 and 2011. He’d make a good replacement for Olivo’s role and he’d be easy to cut once (and if) Zunino is ready.

    Also, I’ve always had a mancrush on Ryan Hanigan. He’s just an extremely underrated catcher who can do everything really well except hitting for power. I doubt the Reds are willing to let him go, though.

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