The Tampa Bay Rays are in search of a catcher, as noted by Danny Knobler, and would like to swing a deal for Devin Mesoraco of the Cincinnati Reds.
Rays, not surprisingly, still poking around for a catcher. Asked at least one team about trying to do a 3-way deal to get Mesoraco from Reds
— DKnobler (@DKnobler) December 7, 2012
Cincinnati is in need of a lead-off hitting center fielder, but Tampa Bay doesn’t have one of those to offer up, which brings in the need for a third team. It’s pure speculation on my part, but given the noted interest by the Reds in both Dexter Fowler and Alejandro De Aza, Colorado and the White Sox could be among the teams being recruited by the Rays to jump in and help out.
Mesoraco is Cincinnati’s top catching prospect, but struggled mightily in his first significant taste of big league action last season. In 165 at bats, the 24-year-old posted a .212/.288/.352 and the Reds are keen on giving Ryan Hanigan a significant number of at bats, so it’s reasonable that they would entertain offers for the young backstop.
I don’t think it’s necessarily wise, but I can see their stance if the Reds are, in fact, open to dealing Mesoraco. And if such a deal brings them back a lead-off hitter, it’s probably the right move to make.
The Reds have a small budget and a host of talented players. Chances are good that thsi group cannot be kept together for more than a few years. The window to win is now in Cincinnati. If trading a backup catcher, even one with the kind of ceiling that Mesoraco has, is the price of filling a significant need on the major league roster, it’s something the Reds have to explore fully.
As we learned during the Winter Meetings, trades that include more than two teams are very often difficult to complete. Usually there are a couple of teams satisfied with heir return, but one left feeling like they drew the short straw. I wouldn’t bet on anything coming to fruition here, but it’s an intriguing idea by the Rays and a worthwhile player for them to target.