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Solving the Catcher Position for 2019


Who should be the Brewers starting catcher in 2019?
Piña / Kratz / Nottingham (no outside acquisitions) 45%  45%  [ 51 ]
Yasmani Grandal (via free agency) 14%  14%  [ 16 ]
Wilson Ramos (via free agency) 20%  20%  [ 23 ]
J.T. Realmuto (via trade) 14%  14%  [ 16 ]
An Old Friend (Jonathan Lucroy or Martin Maldonado via free agency) 3%  3%  [ 3 ]
Other (please post an explanation) 4%  4%  [ 4 ]
Total votes : 113
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Offline    Solving the Catcher Position for 2019
#1

Posted: October 31, 2018, 6:15 AM Post
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We don’t do polls very often, but with the off-season just getting underway it makes sense that the site identifying “catching WOAH SOLVDD” moments since 2003 could help the Brewers front office determine the best direction to go with the catching position in 2019.

Note: This isn’t a prediction of who you think will be the starting catcher, but rather who you think SHOULD be the starting catcher come opening day in 2019.

Feel free to post an explanation for your decision below.


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Online  Re: Solving the Catcher Position for 2019
#2

Posted: October 31, 2018, 6:35 AM Post
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There is going to be a lot of competition for Realmuto, but there was a lot for Yelich, too, and the Brewers came out with him. I think Realmuto's profile fits the Brewers perfectly, and it wouldn't surprise me if Stearns places a big value on him. I also believe that the Brewers have the prospect depth to get the trade done. I'm not keen on giving up Hiura, but it is much, much easier to find a solid offensive 2B than it is a solid offensive catcher.


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Offline  Re: Solving the Catcher Position for 2019
#3

Posted: October 31, 2018, 7:10 AM Post
Posts: 585
I went with the first option as I expect Piña to be the nominal starter to start the season, but I suppose "Other" would've been appropriate too if you include what they'll do at the position overall. Manny was almost exactly a league-average C (85 WRC+ vs the leagues 84) despite his offensive struggles at times this year. He is also a very good defensive catcher, in pretty much all areas of the game including framing. And I think the Brewers value catcher defense very highly, hence the pickup of Kratz who grades out even better as a receiver.

Basically I think the Brewers view the catching position quite differently from most fans. I'm sure they'd like to upgrade, but I expect that upgrade to be someone to complement Piña and ideally improve the positon offensively somewhat but without sacrificing defense. And most of all I expect it to not be a very expensive addition. It could be one of the many FA veterans, could be trading for a veteran or it could be trading for a blocked prospect or blocked backup somewhere. The competition for Realmuto will be fierce. Yelich was attractive, but he was a corner OF with like a 120 OPS+. Favourable contract, potential for improvement, good defense at the position were all there of course which made him sought after, but primarily a corner OF nonetheless and corner OF bats are widely available. That he then exceeded all expectations and had an MVP-caliber season is besides the point; he wasn't priced with that in mind. Whereas catchers who are very good on both sides of the ball are extremely rare at the moment. Brewers *could* get him, but it'd hurt, a lot. And that package, which would hurt a ton, could be bested by a team like the Braves without hurting them much at all with their incredible prospect depth. I can't see how the price will be less than Hiura, Ray and Burnes (Or one of the other top pitching prospects, but I'm sure they'd want Burnes) and I'd rather have them for a combined 18 seasons than Realmuto for 2. If Realmuto had a Yelich-like contract, or at least more years, I'd be more inclined.

I think that both Ramos and Grandal are more likely to happen if a bigger move is made. But I think the Brewers will prioritize spending both money and prospects elsewhere.


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Offline  Re: Solving the Catcher Position for 2019
#4

Posted: October 31, 2018, 7:20 AM Post
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Location: Wauwatosa, WI
Posted in another thread but here's an under the radar guy that I’m looking at for a smaller deal. Luke Maile of the Blue Jays. He showed solid OBP skills this year .248/.333/.366 and above average wRC+ at 95. Plus, a 34.3% hard hit percentage on Fangraphs and 43% on Statcast from the left side. Not to mention being a top 10 receiving catcher in baseball http://www.statcorner.com/CatcherReport.php

I would pair him with Pina and be pretty happy with our overall catching situation.

Edit: The Jays have one more year of Russell Martin, and younger prospects Danny Jansen and Reese McGuire in the MLB at the catcher position likely making Maile the odd man out.


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Offline  Re: Solving the Catcher Position for 2019
#5

Posted: October 31, 2018, 7:38 AM Post
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Grandal/Ramos: probably out of the question given where the payroll is at.

Realmuto: Prospect/young player cost would be too high. I also don't know if the Marlins would be eager to deal with the Brewers given they probably already got some of their favorite players from the Brewers in the Yelich trade and the early returns on that haven't been great.

Luc/Maldy: pass. Not really an upgrade over what they already have in place

I voted for Pina + Kratz or Nottingham. Makes the most sense in the context of where they're at payroll wise and they seemingly value defense highly.

If they really want an offensive upgrade, Kurt Suzuki on a 1 year deal might be a decent option.


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Online  Re: Solving the Catcher Position for 2019
#6

Posted: October 31, 2018, 7:48 AM Post
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The idea that the Marlins would be remiss to deal with the Brewers again because the prospects from the Yelich trade haven't been great is a complete and utter fallacy, in my opinion. Any GM that would operate that way doesn't deserve to, and wouldn't, have a job.


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Offline  Re: Solving the Catcher Position for 2019
#7

Posted: October 31, 2018, 8:05 AM Post
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I voted the Pina way, but I would not bring back Kratz as the back-up or depend on Nottingham. Is Maldonado really a starting catcher? Maybe he can come back to be a defensive duo with Pina.

I don't get the affection with going out and getting a catcher for offense. The options suck and there is way too much cost and/or risk. Lucroy doesn't hit anymore, Realmuto is costly, Grandal is pricey and defensively sucks, Ramos is going to cost too much and is oldish. No thanks. Catchers are like relievers...I don't want to invest too much in them or depend on them producing for 3+ years in their 30s.

If we want to improve offensively do it in the middle infield where it makes sense (or at 3B I guess).


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Offline  Re: Solving the Catcher Position for 2019
#8

Posted: October 31, 2018, 8:29 AM Post
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With his less than stellar postseason, it might have lowered the price for Grandal. Signing him would really help the offense and I would be curious to see how his lefty bat would play in Miller Park. If we sign him, it is likely that we wouldn't be able to sign anyone else (barring trades of course).


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Offline  Re: Solving the Catcher Position for 2019
#9

Posted: October 31, 2018, 8:42 AM Post
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It's too hard to vote without knowing the cost of the FAs/trade. I don't think Realmuto will be worth the prospects it will take to get him and we pretty much jettisoned all of our available type of prospect depth at the last trade deadline, so I'd prefer to bolster the position through either FA or the waiver wire/scrapheap type trade not involving any top 20 prospect types.

I'm assuming that Ramos will be cheaper than Grandal. He's older and is a bit injury plagued which should make his price rather reasonable. Offer him a 2/22M year deal with a 3rd and perhaps 4th year vesting options with player opt outs. 800 PAs or 200 GS at C. Something like that. Anything more than that and we are asking for trouble.

If the front office has targeted some other younger guys who they like for cheap that would be fine too, but I think I at least want to bring in some competition for the current crew.


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Offline  Re: Solving the Catcher Position for 2019
#10

Posted: October 31, 2018, 9:08 AM Post
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Do we know how the Brewers' catching position compared to the NL average? Only reason I ask, C position may not be as bad as we think it is. As of today, I would roll with Pina/ Nottingham, with a vet or two in AAA for insurance.


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Offline  Re: Solving the Catcher Position for 2019
#11

Posted: October 31, 2018, 9:22 AM Post
Posts: 346
Joey Meyer Bombs said:
The idea that the Marlins would be remiss to deal with the Brewers again because the prospects from the Yelich trade haven't been great is a complete and utter fallacy, in my opinion. Any GM that would operate that way doesn't deserve to, and wouldn't, have a job.


More so that it's difficult to work out 2 major block buster trades with the same team in a 1 year span. I'm sure the Marlins and Brewers discussed, Burnes, Woodruff, Hiura, etc during the Yelich trade. There are likely reasons from both sides why they weren't included in the previous large trade.

I'm not saying the Marlins and Brewers will never talk shop again, but I can't see two major trades happening between them right now.


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Offline  Re: Solving the Catcher Position for 2019
#12

Posted: October 31, 2018, 9:22 AM Post
Posts: 214
Would the Dodgers really let Grandal walk in free agency if they thought highly enough of him? Do they have any young talented catchers in their minor league system?


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Offline  Re: Solving the Catcher Position for 2019
#13

Posted: October 31, 2018, 9:25 AM Post
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Do we really want Grandal after seeing how horrible defensively he was against us in the NLCS?

Lucroy? C'mon... Hard pass.

I can see us rolling with Pina and Nottingham, that is the most realistic at this point. I think Kratz won't be back, great 2018 story, but I think we need to be happy what we got from him and move on.

Ramos is a realistic goal, but what will his cost be?

Draining the farm for Realmuto is tempting, but not prudent. Would he look nothing but awesome in our line-up? YUP! Just can't see doing what it would take.

I'm fine with options 1 and 3, and would love to steal option 4, but I just can't see it happening.


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Offline  Re: Solving the Catcher Position for 2019
#14

Posted: October 31, 2018, 9:50 AM Post
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RWeeksFan23 said:
Would the Dodgers really let Grandal walk in free agency if they thought highly enough of him? Do they have any young talented catchers in their minor league system?


Will Smith and Keibert Ruiz, two of the highest rated C prospects currently. Considering it'd be a long-term commitment, and a fairly expensive one, to keep Grandal I suspect they'd be happy with Barnes and a short term option until their prospects are ready.


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Online  Re: Solving the Catcher Position for 2019
#15

Posted: October 31, 2018, 9:55 AM Post
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I think Realmuto is really the only clear upgrade they could make. If that doesn't happen, I'd be happy with Pina and Nottingham. If Kratz wants to sign a cheap deal to come back, I wouldn't be opposed to it. Heck, if Vogt is willing to sign a minor league deal with Spring Training invite, and proves that he's healthy, I wouldn't mind that either. A healthy Vogt would be terrific depth.


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Offline  Re: Solving the Catcher Position for 2019
#16

Posted: October 31, 2018, 10:26 AM Post
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Like Joey said, if it is not Realmuto, giving Nottingham the gig would be just fine with me. If you are not clearly upgrading, then let the young buck get out there and hope he is the catcher of the future.


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Offline  Re: Solving the Catcher Position for 2019
#17

Posted: October 31, 2018, 11:10 AM Post
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Smichaelis9 said:
Posted in another thread but here's an under the radar guy that I’m looking at for a smaller deal. Luke Maile of the Blue Jays. He showed solid OBP skills this year .248/.333/.366 and above average wRC+ at 95. Plus, a 34.3% hard hit percentage on Fangraphs and 43% on Statcast from the left side. Not to mention being a top 10 receiving catcher in baseball http://www.statcorner.com/CatcherReport.php

I would pair him with Pina and be pretty happy with our overall catching situation.

Edit: The Jays have one more year of Russell Martin, and younger prospects Danny Jansen and Reese McGuire in the MLB at the catcher position likely making Maile the odd man out.

I'm on board with Maile. His name has popped up a few times when I've been looking at other catching options over the past few months. As you mentioned, by all accounts, he's an above average defender. It's tough to know where to stand on his bat though and he's not hit RHP well at all. He'd be a risk, but would also be an inexpensive risk that the Brewers could be very smart taking.


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Offline  Re: Solving the Catcher Position for 2019
#18

Posted: October 31, 2018, 12:12 PM Post
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I mean, I know Grandal was our NLCS MVP, but....

Image


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Offline  Re: Solving the Catcher Position for 2019
#19

Posted: October 31, 2018, 2:08 PM Post
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I think Patrick Mazieka from the Mets would be a good option. He is up for the Rule 5 draft and could be had that way. Plus he is a high-contact hitter, something the Brewers are short of.


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Online  Re: Solving the Catcher Position for 2019
#20

Posted: October 31, 2018, 2:30 PM Post
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clancyphile said:
I think Patrick Mazieka from the Mets would be a good option. He is up for the Rule 5 draft and could be had that way. Plus he is a high-contact hitter, something the Brewers are short of.


Not a great average last year, but that appears to be an outlier. Otherwise good contact skills, great OBP, low strikeouts and a very good average at the lower levels. You might be on to something there.

I wonder about his defense. Any word on how good it is?


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