Cleveland Indians: Roberto Perez the last catcher standing

(Photo by Jason Miller/Getty Images)
(Photo by Jason Miller/Getty Images) /

The Cleveland Indians DFA’d Eric Haase on Sunday, leaving Roberto Perez as the last remaining catcher from what was once a promising depth chart.

The Cleveland Indians are not very far removed from a time when they possessed a wealth of catching depth. As recently as the 2018 season, Yan Gomes and Roberto Perez manned the position together as one of the league’s better defensive one-two punches behind the plate.

Behind them on the depth chart was top prospect Francisco Mejia, whose upside was believed to be that of a top-hitting catcher in the league. Further down the ladder resided Eric Haase, not as highly regarded as Mejia but certainly not without his fair share of promise for the future.

After Haase was designated for assignment on Sunday to clear a roster spot for Cesar Hernandez, Perez is the last man standing from this foursome. Any wager placed on such a development years ago would yield quite the payout in present day.

Perez’s journey from a defense-only backup to a Gold Glove-winning everyday workhorse is one of the more impressive individual ascensions in baseball over the last few seasons. It says a lot about the Indians’ comfort level with Perez as their number-one backstop that they were willing to jettison the only remaining catcher in their system who is anywhere near MLB-ready.

Bo Naylor is now the heir apparent to Cleveland’s future catching role, and his estimated time of arrival in the big leagues isn’t until 2022.

For the time being, recently acquired Sandy Leon is all that’s left in the form of depth behind Perez. It’s at least slightly concerning that Carlos Santana is likely the emergency third option with Haase potentially finding a home elsewhere after being DFA’d. It will be interesting to see if the Indians make any low-profile moves between now and Spring Training in order to avoid such a situation in 2020.

A Twitter poll on the disappointment of the decade. dark. Next

In any case, the Indians have clearly committed to Perez as a key piece of their roster for the foreseeable future. Being named the best defensive player in baseball will earn you that kind of faith.