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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) 41%  41%  [ 56 ]
Yasmani Grandal (via free agency) 16%  16%  [ 22 ]
Wilson Ramos (via free agency) 21%  21%  [ 29 ]
J.T. Realmuto (via trade) 13%  13%  [ 18 ]
An Old Friend (Jonathan Lucroy or Martin Maldonado via free agency) 4%  4%  [ 5 ]
Other (please post an explanation) 4%  4%  [ 5 ]
Total votes : 135
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Offline  Re: Solving the Catcher Position for 2019
#41

Posted: November 03, 2018, 11:25 AM Post
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I wouldn't sign Ramos for 3/36M tomorrow. 2/20 would be my offer. Come March one of those might look better for one side or the other.


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Offline  Re: Solving the Catcher Position for 2019
#42

Posted: November 03, 2018, 1:34 PM Post
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sveumrules said:
MLBTR with some free agent predictions...

Yasmani Grandal, 4/64
Wilson Ramos, 3/36
Martin Maldonado, 2/8
Kurt Suzuki, 2/8

I don't know how Suzuki is defensively, but his last two years as a hitter

2017--.887 OPS
2018--.776 OPS


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Offline  Re: Solving the Catcher Position for 2019
#43

Posted: November 03, 2018, 1:41 PM Post
Posts: 455
danzig6767 said:
I don't know how Suzuki is defensively


Not good which is why I'd safely take him off the list of possibilities for the Brewers.


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Offline  Re: Solving the Catcher Position for 2019
#44

Posted: November 03, 2018, 1:57 PM Post
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I would happily bring in Lucroy on a minor league deal with an invite to spring training, and that's about it for him.

Realmuto for me, though the cost is going to be the obvious sticking point. Grandal is going to cost too much, so Ramos probably makes the most logical sense in the end.


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Offline  Re: Solving the Catcher Position for 2019
#45

Posted: November 03, 2018, 2:12 PM Post
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Lucroy was butt last year, and he's going to be 33, and he's a catcher. Hard pass for all the reasons.

I would guess without hesitation that Nottingham will outperform Lucroy this year.


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Offline  Re: Solving the Catcher Position for 2019
#46

Posted: November 03, 2018, 2:16 PM Post
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I'm totally fine rolling with Manny playing 90-95 games and Notthingham playing the rest this year. Manny's offensive regression was almost entirely due to 15 fewer base hits, which is basically statistical noise. His power numbers and walk numbers were more or less (exactly) the same. If they spend some money and get a Grandal or make a trade and get Realmuto, that's fine, but Manny is a fairly decent known quantity, with solid defense.


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Online  Re: Solving the Catcher Position for 2019
#47

Posted: November 03, 2018, 2:45 PM Post
Posts: 3560
I don't doubt that Stearns is one of many GM's working on getting a Realmuto trade done. Hard to imagine him giving up Hiura & Burnes, and also hard to imagine he can get the trade done w/o trading Hiura & Burnes. Maybe some sort of Woodruff/Dubon/Davies/Ray package? But I'd think another team would be able to top that offer

The David Stearns era: Controllable Young Talent. Watch the Jedi work his magic!


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Offline  Re: Solving the Catcher Position for 2019
#48

Posted: November 04, 2018, 2:26 PM Post
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Joey Meyer Bombs said:
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.

Pretty much this. If Nottingham is supposed to be a good prospect, and isn't going to the Marlins in a package for Realmuto, then let him be the backup for a year, learn the staff, get major league coaching, and prepare to take over as the starter in 2020.

If Pina is average, and there are stats that show that despite some struggles last year he was pretty average offensively, there is absolutely nothing wrong with average. Boston won the World Series with perhaps the worst catching offensively in the majors last year.


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Offline  Re: Solving the Catcher Position for 2019
#49

Posted: November 04, 2018, 10:12 PM Post
Posts: 2757
Brew4U said:
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.



I'm with ya. Our catchers were league average this year, I expect more out of SS next year offensively(of course I expect regression out of Cain/Yelich) as well as Braun(based on the fact that for much of the year his exit velo was on part with Yelich). Shaw had a low BABIP....all this to say is that I think our offense should be at least as good next year, potentially better if Schoop has a big bounce back year or Hirura comes back up.

So if we can't make a significant upgrade, I'd be more in favor, but NOT in favor of giving away any young pitchers who contributed this year or Hirura and I don't see enough left to trade for Realmuto and Lucroy, Maldy...they're all nice, but what are we expecting from them?


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Offline  Re: Solving the Catcher Position for 2019
#50

Posted: November 05, 2018, 9:31 AM Post
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Personally right today, I think Christian Bethancourt is a better player than Nottingham and I think keeping him in the organization should be a priority. Nottingham was fine as a fill in backup when there were short term injuries, but Bethancourt is a legit major league backup catcher right now. That's not to say there aren't others out there that fill that bill too, but Nottingham still needs work to make more consistent contact.

That being said, assuming Kratz wants to continue playing and after his postseason, why wouldn't he, I think you bring him and Pina back. That wasn't a bad combo and they handled the staff very, very well.


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Offline  Re: Solving the Catcher Position for 2019
#51

Posted: November 05, 2018, 7:28 PM Post
Posts: 1277
Location: Madison, WI
I'd have no problem giving Wilson Ramos a 3 year, 36 million dollar deal if that fits into Attansio's payroll plan. If Attanasio puts the payroll cap for 2019 at 110 million, then I don't think there is enough room to fit that contract in and still have enough wiggle room for in-season moves. If the payroll cap is 120 million, then I'd make Ramos that 3 year, 36 million offer. He just turned 31, so this would cover his age 31-33 seasons. He's been a .343 OBP/.826 OPS hitter from 2016-2018...I feel pretty good about still being an above-average performer in 2021. Also really like the fact that when the Rays traded him, it sounded like there was some uncertainty on when/if he'd be able to play. Ramos got back mid-August and performed really well down the stretch for the Phillies. Doesn't seem like there is any type of significant injury concern. Just seems like a real solid investment to me.


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Online  Re: Solving the Catcher Position for 2019
#52

Posted: November 05, 2018, 9:57 PM Post
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Maybe it is partially a product of the uncertainty in knowing what the actual acquisition cost would be for Realmuto or salary cost and years required to sign Grandal or Ramos, but I am a bit surprised by how many people opted for no external acquisitions in the poll.

I think Piña would be a good backup catcher next year, but for a team that has aspirations of another deep playoff run catcher seems like an obvious place where an upgrade could pay big dividends. I do think Realmuto is cost prohibitive (in terms of trade capital), but I think either Grandal or Ramos could prove to be a solid investment. If Grandal can be signed to a 3 year deal for around $42 million I think the Brewers should seriously consider it, even with including the loss of a second round draft pick. I also would be content with Ramos if he could be signed for a one or two year commitment with an AAV somewhere between $11-13 million.


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Online  Re: Solving the Catcher Position for 2019
#53

Posted: November 05, 2018, 11:06 PM Post
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Eye Black said:
I think Piña would be a good backup catcher next year, but for a team that has aspirations of another deep playoff run catcher seems like an obvious place where an upgrade could pay big dividends. I do think Realmuto is cost prohibitive (in terms of trade capital), but I think either Grandal or Ramos could prove to be a solid investment. If Grandal can be signed to a 3 year deal for around $42 million I think the Brewers should seriously consider it, even with including the loss of a second round draft pick. I also would be content with Ramos if he could be signed for a one or two year commitment with an AAV somewhere between $11-13 million.

This is where I am at on things with regards to catcher.

Grandal is a switch hitting catcher who is generally considered an excellent receiver. Yes, he struggled at the end of 2018 and in the playoffs, but I'd rather look at the last few years as a whole rather than one month. I think a 3-year deal at around $40M would be all right.

I like Ramos as well - in fact, I picked him to be our catcher - but as noted, a 2-year deal would be better. I was think about $10-12M annually. The bat is better than Grandal - but the defense is worse.

Either guy would be a really good addition. And neither would have to catch 150 games or anything crazy. Maybe 100-110 starts and Manny getting 50-60. It will keep both players fresh - which is important over a long season.


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Offline  Re: Solving the Catcher Position for 2019
#54

Posted: November 06, 2018, 4:24 AM Post
Posts: 633
I want the priority for a catcher to be on defense, hence why I'm not too keen on Ramos. For an offensive upgrade I'd rather spend on a 2B/3B/OF type of player. If the club was to spend big on a FA catcher I'd much rather do it on Grandal, even if he'll be more expensive than Ramos. And no, one bad playoff series does not mean Grandal is a bad defender. Over his career he's consistently been one of the better defensive catchers in thr game.


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Offline  Re: Solving the Catcher Position for 2019
#55

Posted: November 06, 2018, 7:13 AM Post
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Location: Madison, WI
I'd thought about just going with Pina/Kratz/Nottingham. Kratz hit well enough, seemed to handle the pitching staff and seemed to fit in alright. Why not just go with him next year? Then I went back and reviewed his numbers. In his previous 450 MLB plate appearances, which stretched from 2013-2017, Kratz was a .193/.236/.338/.574 hitter. I'd guess that odds are overwhelming that his numbers significantly fall from the meager .236/.280/.355/.634 he posted last year. It will be his age 39 season. Like with Sogard in 2017, Stearns should count his blessings that he found a guy that greatly over-achieved. Then in 2018, Stearns should have realized a repeat performance would be very, very unlikely when looking at Sogard's entire resume, not just what the guy did for a few weeks during a hot streak. The Brewers should really be looking for an upgrade to pair with Pina.


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Offline  Re: Solving the Catcher Position for 2019
#56

Posted: November 06, 2018, 7:53 AM Post
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Location: Madison, WI
Wilson Ramos is not top-tier defensively. Baseball Prospectus ranked Ramos 45th out of 117 catchers in their defensive metrics. So he's an above-average defender.

Grandal was number one, but surprisingly, I don't think the metrics include passed balls and Grandal is sort of known as the king for allowing passed balls. He had lead the league or tied for the league lead three times already. Career 64 passed balls in 5175 1/3 innings. Just for a quick comparison, Pina has 6 passed balls in 1683 1/3 innings. I have no idea how these guys would stack up against the rest of the league. Not sure if Pina's numbers are exceptionally good or anything like that. But if Grandal has lead the league or tied for the league lead three times already, I just have to assume that he's just flat out bad when allowing passed balls.

Obviously the big unknown is how much Attanasio is willing to spend next year. My gut feeling is that a 12 million per year for Ramos would really stretch it to the near maximum. Guessing that the additional 4 million or so for Grandal is not a possibility. Of course that's all speculation. I'm more worried that, with these two guys ranking far and away the best free agent catchers available this off-season, that they will get more than anticipated and both will be priced too high for the Brewers.


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Offline  Re: Solving the Catcher Position for 2019
#57

Posted: November 06, 2018, 7:59 AM Post
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Mark has never been scared to spend but think they will all be careful how they spend it,


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Offline  Re: Solving the Catcher Position for 2019
#58

Posted: November 06, 2018, 8:03 AM Post
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JosephC said:
Grandal was number one, but surprisingly, I don't think the metrics include passed balls and Grandal is sort of known as the king for allowing passed balls.


That's really weird, in that blocking pitches is probably the #1 aspect of being a quality defensive catcher--and that's not even a passed balls thing, it's a prevention of wild pitches thing.


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Offline  Re: Solving the Catcher Position for 2019
#59

Posted: November 06, 2018, 8:16 AM Post
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JosephC said:
Grandal was number one, but surprisingly, I don't think the metrics include passed balls and Grandal is sort of known as the king for allowing passed balls.


What makes you think that? It's a combination of Framing Runs + Blocking Runs + Throwing Runs, and I would find it very hard to believe that "Blocking Runs" doesn't include passed balls and wild pitches.


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Offline  Re: Solving the Catcher Position for 2019
#60

Posted: November 06, 2018, 9:09 AM Post
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Lathund said:
JosephC said:
Grandal was number one, but surprisingly, I don't think the metrics include passed balls and Grandal is sort of known as the king for allowing passed balls.


What makes you think that? It's a combination of Framing Runs + Blocking Runs + Throwing Runs, and I would find it very hard to believe that "Blocking Runs" doesn't include passed balls and wild pitches.

Yes, Blocking Runs absolutely include passed balls. It's based on BL_CHANCES which is defined as "pitches the catcher received that could have resulted in a wild pitch or passed ball; this is when runners are on base or a dropped third strike is possible."

Grandal was +0.8 in Blocking Runs in 2018, which is not superb, but was a net positive. Pina and Kratz were both +1.3.


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