3 trade deadline catchers within Cleveland Indians price range
There’s really no questioning that the Cleveland Indians biggest need at the trade deadline is starting pitching. Unfortunately, starting pitching won’t be cheap on the market to acquire, and given the goal to save money and assets that option might already being falling off the table. One area that might be able to be addressed is catcher.
The catching position in Cleveland has been through a lot this season already. The two catchers that opened the season on the roster are both on the injured list and the two that stepped up are career journeymen. To make matters worse, the journeymen are outperforming Austin Hedges.
No offense to Rene Rivera or Ryan Lavarnway, but just because they are outperforming Hedges doesn’t mean that they should be the backup catcher down the stretch. It just means that the position severely lacks depth in Cleveland.
The good news is that Roberto Perez should hopefully be returning in the very near future. While he’s on the 60-day injured list, it’s nearly been two months since he went on, so his rehab might be the only question. While Perez won’t be a huge offensive upgrade, his two Gold Gloves and ability to work with pitchers will be a big plus.
The problem is that even with Perez healthy, the Cleveland Indians have the third worst offensive production from the catcher position in all of baseball. No matter who’s manning the spot in the order, the catcher of the Tribe is batting a cumulative .172/.258/.293. Only the Seattle Mariners and Colorado Rockies have had less offensive production from the position.
In addition to the poor slash line, the Tribe’s catcher, whoever that may be, has totaled just five doubles, tied for the league worst, seven home runs and only 24 RBI.
While the catcher position is arguably the most important defensively, there should be some sort of offensive production from the spot as well. Perez will continue to be the everyday starter, but the Cleveland Indians need to explore an offensive counterpart to split time at the position. Should they take that advice, the front office should start with these three players.