As we begin spring training it’s important to take a look at certain players that could be potential trade candidates at the deadline and even through out the season. During the offseason, the owners have approved to have a universal DH and also expand the playoffs to 7 teams. We should see a lot of activity through the season as teams now have 2 extra playoff spots to fight for. We will divide into looking at 3 players from each position that could help teams out for the 2021 season. This week will be discussing catchers.
Top 3 catchers (plus an owner’s choice)
- Gary Sanchez (Houston) 1yr/$5.2 million
2020 stats: .194 AVG/.250 OBP/10 HR/48 RBI. (93 games)
Gary Sanchez is coming off a season where he didn’t produce at all. He found himself splitting most of his time with 26 year old catcher Art Morrison, who seems to be penciled in as the starter for the 2021 season. Prior to the 2020 season, Gary averaged 20 to 25 HRs and 80-90 RBIs per season. There are teams in the league that would love those types of numbers from their catchers. His current contract situation also works in his favor as well. With no long-term commitment attached to him, it will make it easier to move him depending on what Houston wants in return.
- Kyle Schwarber (Chicago NL) 2yr/24.5 million
Kyle Schwarber makes this list for a couple of reasons. The first reason is because of the new universal DH we are implementing this season. He posted very good offensive numbers his first three seasons in the big leagues. His catching ratings aren’t great but if a team needs a bat then he might be worth a shot to look at. The second reason is because of Kris Bryant. Bryant will be a free agent at the end of the season and we have no idea what the Cubs are planning to do with him. However, if they decided to keep Bryant then it might be wise to move Schwarber due to his contract. He is still under team control for the next two years. The Cubs would be able to get a nice haul in return for a guy who is still locked up for the next two seasons and could continue to be competitive in the NL Central.
- Travis d’Arnaud (New York NL) 4yr/$45million
The New York Mets have expressed interest in moving some salary this offseason. They already done so with the trades of Andrew Aplin and Bret Lawrie. The Mets could do the same thing with d’Arnaud. Over the past 3 seasons he has averaged 20HRs, and 60RBIs. He also only had 17 errors while starting 354 games behind the dish in those 3 seasons. If the Mets are willing to retain some of his salar,y then they should be able to find a team who wants a solid veteran catcher who has leadership qualities
- Christian Bethancourt (Detroit) 5yr/$28 million (Owner’s recommendation)
2020 stats: .252 AVG/.318 OBP/3 HR/21 RBI. (32 games)
The Tigers have a top catching prospect name Johandry Cortez who has been progressing nicely through their minor league system. If he continues to develop the way he has throughout the season, then there is a chance the Tiger front office will be looking to move Bethancourt at the deadline.
Next Week we will discuss 1B candidates