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2011 OffSeason – Catcher Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Posted by jkcmason in Mariners.
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I am planning on going position by position through the Mariners Roster and explaining the options that the Mariners have. I will also go into what my next step would be for this position, and what I think that Mariners will do for each spot. The first stop in this will be catcher.

Catcher

I actually experience physical pain when I think back about the results that we received from the catchers on our roster last season.

Adam Moore – 205 At bats – .195/.230/.283 –  -0.5 WAR

Rob Johnson – 178 At bats – .191/.293/.281 –  0.4 WAR

Josh Bard – 112 At bats – .214/.276/.357 –  o.2 WAR

Neither of the catchers that will remain on the teams roster had a batting average over .200, or a slugging percentage over .300. I don’t think that there is any better spot to start looking at how to improve this team.

It has been pretty obvious since Zduriencik took over as GM that Adam Moore is the catcher he would like to mold into the catcher of the future. Unfortunately Adam looked lost at the plate and behind the plate last year. That being said, he did improve in his actual receiving of the ball throughout the season and is still too young to give up on. Rob Johnson will likely be stashed in AAA in case of an injury because the Mariners need to have a more experienced catcher available to mentor for Moore.

What I would try to do

Most people agree that the Mariners are in a transitional phase, and aren’t expected to take the division next season. This usually means that they should turn to younger players and find out who could contribute in the seasons to come. I think that they need to take that a step further and position themselves to bring in more talent. 

If you refer to the reverse engineered Elias rankings provided by Eddie Bajek and mlbtraderumors.com you can make a couple of observations.

http://www.mlbtraderumors.com/2010/10/2009-10-elias-rankings.html

Catcher is a fairly weak position, so it is not hard for a player to get a decent ranking if they have a good amount of playing time over the two-year period that a player is judged in. The Mariners could take advantage of this by signing a catcher that has a good chance of being a Type B free agent next year based on the stats they put up in 2010. The two players that stand out to me are Miguel Olivo, and Yorvit Torrealba. Both of these players:

1- Could be enticed to sign here for a one year deal that is not incredibly expensive.

2- Are relatively young, with a good chance of getting another catching position in 2012

3- Had a solid 2010 that will go toward the stats that are analyzed for Elias rankings

If you are going to sign a player to split time with Moore, you might as well get a decent batter and the opportunity for a sandwich pick in next years draft.

What I expect the Mariners to do

I can see the Mariners bringing in an experienced catcher to help Moore develop. Dave Cameron mentions Greg Zaun in his offseason plan (http://www.ussmariner.com/2010/11/05/daves-offseason-plan-2011-style/). Zaun would be the exact type of catcher that I could see the Mariners bringing in. He is experienced, has a good reputation around the league, and his bat would fit the ballpark well, being a switch hitter.

My Addition – Yorvit Torrealba or Miguel Olivo

Mariners Addition – Greg Zaun

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