Rangers know they need catching upgrade, but Lucroy trade a ‘dream’
The Texas Rangers managed to win the AL West in 2015 without a full-time catcher. Down the stretch, they entrusted journeymen Chris Gimenez and Bobby Wilson with catching responsibilities, and Robinson Chirinos chipped in when he was healthy enough to do so.
Still, with Gimenez and Chirinos the only catchers on the 40-man roster as it stands today and no real organizational depth at the position, it’s obvious the Rangers ought to find a long-term solution.
GM Jon Daniels spoke with Evan Grant of the Dallas Morning News about the Rangers’ ‘miracle’ that was the 2015 catching experience, indicating that yes, the club is desirous of an upgrade:
Grant adds that the Rangers have ‘checked in’ with the Milwaukee Brewers regarding catcher Jonathan Lucroy, who would obviously be a great fit in Arlington – but Grant noted that any thoughts of a deal are ‘nothing but a dream’ at this point.
“It was a combination of culture, getting the most of the guys, putting the guys in the best position to succeed and a little bit of luck,” Daniels said. “We've talked about it internally. We talked about how much we need catching and Chris and Bobby, they made the playoffs for us. And we dodged a major bullet with Robinson not needing surgery. But do you want to count on all that again?”
Other options such as Dioner Navarro would have been a fine pickup for the Rangers, but he’s since moved on to another club and taken himself off the market.
Rangers manager Jeff Banister is also quoted in Grant’s piece as being fully aware of the importance of a full-time catcher on a contending team’s roster:
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This is obviously something that means a great deal to Texas, and it’s an area they’ll almost assuredly address as the offseason rolls along.
“It's a very fragile position,” Banister said. “I think, more than anything else, you need more than just a front line guy or two guys that complement each other, you also need to have depth in the system. You have those guys that they can step in and call the game and run the game for our pitching staff, and they have some knowledge of our pitching staff but also the knowledge of how we like to conduct the game from behind the plate.”