3-13-22 – By Gary Morgan – @garymo2007 on Twitter
Here’s the thing, it’s not like catching isn’t important to this management team. They drafted one number one overall, actually nixed a deal with Philly because a catcher they wanted wasn’t involved. They involved a third team in the Joe Musgrove deal to ensure they got a catcher back in the deal too.
Then out of the other side of their mouths they went ahead and traded their gold glove catcher with a ton of control. The return doesn’t really matter either, the point is it left the major league squad that already needed to address it’s backup spot in need of finding a starter.
Enter Roberto Perez. More than capable of handling the position defensively, he’s a 2 time gold glover himself after all. Here’s the thing though, the dude just hasn’t hit, in all but one year and more than anything he hasn’t stayed healthy. 79 games is the most he’s played in recent history and that my friends is what has me so concerned.
Believe it or not, this isn’t about cheap, they’ll already pay more for this position than they have since Cervelli was cut loose with Roberto’s 5 million dollar price tag alone.
Taylor Davis remains on the 40-man and Michael Perez was removed from the 40 man and reassigned.
I’m sorry, that’s not enough.
Again, I’m not even bothering to talk about my reservations that Roberto Perez can produce. Like, I wouldn’t like it if he caught 135 games and hit .175, but at least he’d handle a majority of the games in his typically strong defensive style. Thing is, he just won’t. In fact in my mind it’s aggressive to suggest we should bank on him handling 100 games.
Taylor Davis is such a good catcher he’s listed as a 3B on the Spring Training roster and most of you remember Michael.
The free agent market is non-existent, and there is no rule five draft which would have been grasping at straws in the first place.
I think the Pirates may need to make an actual baseball trade here and I can’t get past this feeling like a self inflicted wound. It was simply too early to move Stallings, and I say that even while really liking what they got in return. If they had moved him after this season, ok, I can make an argument that the young options were getting close enough, hell I could at that point probably argue Henry Davis himself could be close.
So let’s deal with the situation at hand and suggest some guys the Pirates could target. Keep in mind, I’m not looking to solve this position for the next 5 years, the development system should address that, I just want stability for 2022.
From the San Diego Padres Victor Caratini could fit the bill. He’s used to being a backup and with Austin Nola and Luis Campusano in the fold too the Friars might be willing to part with him.
Everyone’s favorite trade rumor partner the Toronto Blue Jays have a couple options but the one I think could be had almost just for being willing to get him out of the way is ex Pirtes farm hand Reese McGuire.
From the Houston Astros, Michael Papierski interests me. To be fair, Michael was someone I wanted to see the Pirates potentially target in the Rule Five draft, and the Astros have 3 guys in that territory. They can’t assume they’ll keep all of them. Can’t imagine this would cost much either.
It’s clear the Arizona Diamondbacks are in a rebuild so in this rare case I’ll target their starter, Carson Kelly. They have Daulton Varsho and he might be ready to take over full time, meanwhile Carson would be a nice insurance policy more than capable of splitting time at the very least in Pittsburgh.
The point of all of this is that I feel this position is too important to just roll the dice. With Roberto Perez’ history, it’s likely he doesn’t play 75 games and that’s if he does what he’s done recently. This Roster is chalk full of young pitching, and I can’t see leaving it in the hands of a carousel of catchers. It’s not about wanting a name, or spending a certain amount, it’s about doing the bare minimum. To be clear, I don’t feel they’re at bare minimum territory here for this position and if they don’t address it there is zero way to look at it beyond willfully not providing the absolute basement for preparedness.