Catchers don’t generally do well on the free agent market. It’s a position that, while important, doesn’t generally rank among the league’s highest paid players. It’s also not one that typically is the recipient of long term deals. There’s just too much risk given the physical nature of the job.
Despite such trends, there’s been increasing speculation that this winter could go against that norm. Brian McCann has been a name tossed around for much of the season, with no certainties in place as to what his future holds. The same can be said for Carlos Ruiz and A.J. Pierzynski. Jarrod Saltalamacchia has been swinging the bat well enough that suddenly he could be in line for an attractive deal.
Further impacting the speculation is the increasing number of teams who could stand to make an upgrade at the position. Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports cites a number of them – including the Philadelphia Phillies, Texas Rangers, and New York Yankees. New York’s interest in his own speculation, given the team’s desire to find an upgrade over what they put behind the plate this season, but their willingness to spend is unknown considering the team’s desire to get under the luxury tax threshold. Rosenthal also suggests that the Chicago White Sox could be in the mix, depending on how they decide to spend their money this offseason.
Considering some of the names that have been tossed around, it seems prudent to take a look at some of the players who just might be available this winter on the open market. Most of the teams looking to make an upgrade at the position will not have the luxury to wait for the 2015 free agent class at the position (which includes just Nick Hundley and Russell Martin among a group of uninspiring options).