Tuesday, July 2, 2013
Trade market for catchers
By Jason A. Churchill
Finding catching help isn't easy in Major League Baseball and may be the most difficult task during the season. That doesn't mean there won't be any options this summer, however, and Chicago Cubs veteran Dioner Navarro may be among the top backstops available.
The 29-year-old switch hitter has had a strong season as the backup to Welington Castillo, with an enormous portion of the damage coming from the right side of the plate. Overall, Navarro is batting .260/.336/.521 with eight home runs. He's just 14-for-75 (.187, 5 HR) as a lefty, but has 11 hits -- three long balls -- in 21 at-bats as a right-handed batter.
He's a fringe-average defender and isn't conditioned to catch six days a week, but could be a valuable second option for a number of contenders, potentially including the Yankees and Orioles.
Other catchers that could be discussed this summer include Philly's Carlos Ruiz, who will be a free agent after the season, John Buck of the New York Mets and Colorado Rockies backup Yorvit Torrealba. Buck may be the most likely to be available while the Phillies and Rockies appear set to wait it out and see if they can stay in contention.