The Tampa Bay Rays are looking for a catcher, just like they have in almost every year of their existence.
Some things in life are a given. Water is wet. The infield grass is green. The Tampa Bay Rays need a catcher. It is good to know that, in a universe gone mad, some areas remain constant.
The Rays need for a catcher has not changed this offseason. As is the case virtually every year, the team has signaled that their priority this offseason is to acquire a catcher.
This has been an ongoing issue since the Rays came into the league in 1998. Since then, 18 catchers have managed to receive at least 200 plate appearances over their time with the franchise. Jose Molina, and his 6.1 fWAR, are the best of the bunch. This speaks volumes.
Likewise, it should not be a surprise that the Rays are once again attempting to upgrade. The trio of Mike Zunino, Michael Perez, and Kevan Smith produced an uninspiring .174/.262/.321 batting line with six homers. Their combined -0.4 fWAR was 28th in the majors, ahead of only the Tigers and Rockies.
The worst part is that the struggles at the position did not have to happen in 2020. They had Travis d’Arnaud at the end of 2019. He had suddenly begun to hit as a member of the Rays, showing the ability that once made him a top catching prospect. Instead, the Rays balked at paying his salary and decided to keep Zunino.
Decisions like that leave the Rays where they are. Once again, they are in search of catching, letting everyone know that they are willing to discuss a trade. And maybe this time, things will be different.
It is another offseason, and once again, the Tampa Bay Rays are looking for a catcher. Some things never change.