Assessing all the Twins options at catcher (27 names), now that Jason Castro is out for the season.

Twins' starting catcher Jason Castro is out for the season with surgery to repair his meniscus.  Here are the options that the Twins have in catcher to continue the season:

A. Stay put.  Utilize RHH Mitch Garver (.254/.309/.413) as the starter with RHH  Bobby Wilson (.133/.167/.400) filling in.  Potientially replace Wilson with one of the AAA catchers, RHH Willians Astudillo (.260/.284/.416) and also RHH Wynston Sawyer (.231/.385/.385)

B. Go after established or back up major leaguers and use one of them as the starter with Garver moving to back-up, or split time with Garver.  Options:

Starting catchers:

Marlins' starting C, RHH J.T. Realmuto (.316/.375/.558)
Reds' starting C, SHH, Tucker Barnhart (.274/.370/.444)
Rays' starting C, RHH Wilson Ramos (.289/.333/.430)
Yankees' backup C, RHH Austin Romine (.289/.372/.368)
Giants' backup C, RHH Nick Hundley (.288/.329/.530)

Splitting time with or backing up Garver:

Red Sox' utility bat, SHH Black Swihart (.138/.219/.172)
Blue Jay's backup C, RHH Luke Maile (.324/.403/.500)
Tigers' backup C, RHH John Hicks (.293/.337/.512)   
Angels' backup C, RHH Rene Rivera (.259/.322/.481)
Rangers' backup C, LHH Juan Centeno (.162/.184/.270)
Padres' backup C, LHH Rafael Lopez (.214/.333/.429)

C. Go after minor leaguers to backup Mitch Garver. Options:

Red Sox' AAA C, RHH Mike Ohlman (.259/.359/.537)
Blue Jays' AAA C, RHH Danny Jansen (.301/.400/.462)
Rays' AAA C, RHH, Curt Casali (.323/.375/.538)
Astros' AAA C, RHH, Tim Federowicz (.394/.456/.662)
Angels' AAA C, RHH, Juan Graterol (.361/.385/.426)
Mariners' AAA C, LHH, Chris Herrmann (.255/.435/.394)
Marlins' AAA C, RHH, Austin Nola (.302/.383/.453)
Pirates' AAA C, RHH, Ryan Lavarnway (.235/.350/.412)
Cubs' AAA C, RHH, Chris Gimenez (.229/.319/.271)
Dodgers' AAA C, RHH, Rocky Gale (.326/.344/.517)
DFA'd by the Nats C, LHH Miguel Montero (216/.310/.346 in 2017 with Cubs and Jays)
Sugar Land Skeeters, C, RHH Derrek Norris (.222/.344/.278; .201/.258/.380 in 2017 with the Rays)

A few notes: 

First of all I did not include budding young stars in the minors, because teams will have zero incentive to let them go.  The only one I included is Jay's 23 year old Danny Jansen who is behind his AAA battery mate Reese McGuire in the Toronto depth.  And even Jansen is a long shot.   Also competitive teams will not let go of their starting catchers or even some of their backups if there is no clear replacement in AAA, so very few of those were included.  It is just not realistic.

Looking at the list, it is amazing how many former Twins they are, and also how few lefties or switch hitters.

Realmuto or Barnhart would be the obvious choices on paper, unless one realizes that there is zero incentive for the Marins or the Reds to part with them and they will be too expensive.  Ramos, Romine, and Hundley, are likely the other best choices, but should the Twins part with a top 5 prospect for Ramos or a top 10 for the other two?  I am not sure.

I strongly believe that the Twins should allow Garver to show what he can do as the primary catcher, as well as replace Bobby Wilson, with someone who will give them more opportunities to win, and preferably is left handed.  Three names jump to me from this list: 30 year old journey man  Rafael Lopez, currently with the Padres, 30 year old former Twin Chris Herrmann, currently with the Mariners' AAA squad.  Both of these players can jump in and be definite improvements for the Twins; however there is another player who is the best fit for the Twins right now:  Long time Diamondback, and twice All Star, Miguel Montero who was just designated for assignment by the Nationals.  He hit 216/.310/.346 in 2017 with Cubs and Jays. With the Cubs he hit a very respectable .286/.366/.439 in 44 games before falling apart with the Jays .138/.248/.241 after his trade in 32 games.  He will be able to mentor both Garver and the Twins' pitching staff, might hit a bit, and the price is right.


Corey Henderson said...

Would love to see the Twins pick up Realmuto! Probably going to cost something like an Odorizzi, Kepler, and Rortfeldt to get him though. I'd be ok with loosing Odorizzi and Rotfeldt but not Kepler. The Twins are a little light in the OF outside of the starting 3. Perhaps Cave could be called up and do an adequate job, but, he's scuffling a little in AAA right now. Seems like the more logical choice will be to let Garver be the starter and pick up someone like Montero. I would also be a fan of this type of move.

thrylos98 said...

Realmulto will cost much more, esp. in prospects. The Marlins will not willing to pick anyone who makes above the minimum. Think Romero plus Lewis plus one more. That's why its a no-no...