Atlanta Braves Probably Should Wait Out a Catcher
The Atlanta Braves may have missed the boat on Jason Castro, but getting a catcher to platoon with Tyler Flowers may not be that major of an issue.
If you haven’t already heard, the Atlanta Braves lost out on Jason Castro, who is expected to sign a deal with the Twins. Alan informed us of that yesterday and laid out some options for the Braves to possibly consider.
Alan points to one option that may be more the direction Atlanta takes. Do Nothing … Sort of.
I believe there will be suitable, cheap options to split time with Flowers every fifth day or so. If you want to go the left-handed hitter route, there will be options, but as I was reminded last night, Todd Hundley is not one of them.
It’s probably safe to say Matt Wieters will command a steep price. Aided by super agent Scott Boras, Wieters will get the most money possible. If it’s just money, I think the Braves take a shot; Wieters is a switch hitter.
But what about former Brave Jarrod Saltalamacchia? He’s a switch hitter, too. Again, though, Salty isn’t a very good option if you’re trying to get better.
Honsetly, he probably doesn’t even cut the mustard to maintain the Status Quo.
— Lee Trocinski (@LeeTrocinski) November 23, 2016
For some context, here’s the statement that spawned Lee’s proposal.
If Jason Castro is getting 3 years and $24 million, the price tag for Matt Wieters should be significantly higher.
— Grant McAuley (@grantmcauley) November 22, 2016
Thus my reasoning for his price being rather steep. Seeing what Castro got makes me think that Wieters will be even out of the Braves reach, but you never know.
Nick Hundley, even though he’s a right-handed hitter, could also be a February add. Hundley, however, is 33, so his window is closing as far catcher production goes. Still, he’s a veteran that can handle a staff.
One other option could be Alex Avila. Avila is a left-handed hitter as well. He very well could fall into the February timeline. Avila’s salary last season? $2.5 million.
It’s entirely possible Avila could be cheaper than any other catcher on the market. Avila will be 30 in January.
His career slash line isn’t the greatest, but for a catcher is respectable; .240/.346/.395/.741 isn’t too shabby. His platoon splits vs. RHP are .247/.357/.418/.775. Last year he went .213/.359/.373/.732
Nothing to get terribly excited about, but as a soft platoon, it could work. He was an All-Star in 2011 and won a Silver Slugger that same year.
So yeah, maybe we didn’t get Jason Castro, and at the price he brought in, I’m kind of glad we didn’t.
But I’m not going to really whine about the possibility of Salty (would be last of the choices), Hundley, or Avila. Looking at Avila, though, now, I actually kind of prefer him.
Of course, Major League Baseball and the owners need to figure out the Collective Bargaining Agreement before any of this can happen.