June 22, 2021

Examining the free agent catching market (The Good Phight)

The catcher position was a major weakness for the Pittsburgh Pirates in 2019. As a whole, the position produced an fWAR of -0.4 last season, fifth worst in baseball.

Not all was bad. Jacob Stallings showed promise in 71 games producing an fWAR of 1.3. He was solid behind the dish both at framing and blocking. Stallings was fine enough with the bat hitting .262/.325/.382 with a wRC+ of 82. With a defense first catcher, you could certainly do worse. Towards the end of the season, I pondered whether or not Stallings could be the everyday catcher in 2020. It may very well end up being his job to lose.

That in itself is a problem. No offense to Stallings, but he was never supposed to be in this position in the first place. After a 2018 season in which Elias Diaz had an fWAR of 1.8 in 82 games, it looked as though he would hold down the position for the foreseeable future once Francisco Cervelli inevitably moved on. That is no longer the case as 2019 was a disaster. Diaz is eligible for arbitration this winter. More than likely, he will be non-tendered. The Pirates will need to add a catcher.

Aside from Yasmani Grandal (because money), there is a plethora of free agent catchers…

Read “Examining the free agent catching market” at Bucs Dugout