Catching On

A little more about catchers.

Ted Berg links to a DJ Short piece, from a series about players who could be non-tendered this winter, including Kelly Shoppach.

If the Mets could sign Shoppach to a one-year deal, while is value down coming off a year when his BABIP was below average and his own career norms, that would be a nice pickup. Shoppach, who will turn 30 next April 29th, hit .214/.335/.399 in 271 AB for Cleveland in 2009.  Shoppach’s BABIP had been above .350 for the previous three years, but dropped all the way down to a career-low .286.  He swings and misses a lot, but he will walk, has a little power by catcher standards and will be one of the younger catchers on the market.

Other readers have brought up Greg Zaun and Miguel Olivo.

Olivo set a career high with a  2.2 WAR in 2009 for the Kansas City Royals when he hit .249/.292/.490 in 4.33 AB.  He’s a guy with a .278 career OBP and has never once topped .300.  That’s not good. You can’t commit multiple years to sub-.300 OBP guys and expect good things.

Zaun, who split time between the Rays and Orioles hit a combined .260/.345/.416 in 262 AB.  I’m not sure Zaun, who will turn 39 on April 14th next year, can play everyday but unlike Olivo, he’s not allergic to taking a walk.

I wanted to clarify my point from earlier.  I’m not opposed to the Mets signing a free agent catcher.  The team is looking for one.  The folly would be handing out multiple years and multiple millions to a guy who’s not significantly better than what’s already on the roster (I’m looking at you, Mr. Molina).  Adding Kelly Shoppach on a one-year deal would be sneaky smart.  Adding Zaun as an NRI would also be sneaky smart.  Signing Barajas, Molina or Torrealba to 3 yrs/$10 million would be silly.

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