However, that being said, I feel like there is something a’brewing in Arizona.
Earlier this off-season, the Diamondbacks claimed Craig Tatum off of waivers. When it happened, it was considered an all-around good move, given that the Diamondbacks have almost no organizational depth at catcher.
Earlier this morning, Ken Rosenthal‘s column addressed some of the rumors floating around during spring training. The end of his column focused quite heavily on the Diamondbacks.
The D-Backs seek a long-term solution at catcher — Miguel Montero is a free agent after this season, and the team is thin at the position in the minors. Club officials have targeted 10 to 15 potential trade candidates, and eventually could use their relative surplus of starting pitching to acquire the catcher they need.
It is true. The Dbacks have a full rotation and a whole pile of pitchers in the minor leagues that are very nearly (or entirely) ready to step into the rotation on a moment’s notice. And, this holds true looking at the prospect rankings, where it is clear that the Dbacks have strength in pitching. So, how about catchers? Is the outlook that thin?
- In mlb.com‘s top 20 prospect rankings, clocking in at number 9 is Michael Perez. Michael Perez was drafted in 2011 and is 19 years old and clearly not major league ready, having played only 7 games in the rookie league this past year. After that, there’s not another catcher on the list.
- Fangraphs tosses in 22-year old Rossmel Perez onto their list at #15, giving Michael Perez an honorable mention.
- Baseball Prospectus, however, lists their top 20 and leaves both catchers off the list entirely.
So, yeah. There really doesn’t appear to be much in the way of organizational depth when it comes to catchers to replace Miguel Montero, if he leaves for more money at the end of the season.
So, today’s afternoon news comes as a little bit of a surprise.
Not that he was going to be a long-term solution, but it is true. Every organization needs a 3rd catcher, waiting in the wings. It’s part of any truly comprehensive emergency contingency plan. It’s a small thing, but it is an important thing.
So, when taking into account that the Diamondbacks’ cups runneth over with quality young, controllable pitching + the Diamondbacks have a seemingly large gap in their system at catcher + there isn’t really a ready and waiting candidate in the event that either Miguel Montero or Henry Blanco go down with an injury, it seems like there might be something in the works for the Diamondbacks. More specifically, something involving a young, controllable catcher no more than a year away. Or, more likely, with a little bit of MLB experience under his belt.
And, recent comments made by Kirk Gibson don’t really do anything to quell these thoughts that are swirling around in my head.
“You’re assuming that’s where he’s going. There are some things that still could happen. There’s various things that could happen.”
So. There’s that.
There’s no specific deadline that the Dbacks have to adhere to (given that Montero is a Diamondback until the end of the season, if all goes according to intial plan), so things may stay just as they are until the trade deadline (or later), but it seems like this is somewhere where we, the fans, will see some movement, sooner rather than later.
Looks like it’s time to break out the magic 8 ball. Again.