As you've seen in MASNsports.com's Ben Goessling's update, the Houston Astros are very likely looking for a catcher. Jason Castro, their starting catcher and former first-round draft pick, will likely miss the entire season with a torn anterior cruciate ligament in his right knee. Now, it seems, another NL team is in the market for a receiver.
Gregg Zaun has informed the Padres that he's retiring. Zaun, a two-time former Oriole, had surgery last summer for a torn labrum in his shoulder and the repair has been slow to respond.
The Nationals would seem to have some depth behind the plate with Ivan Rodriguez, Wilson Ramos, the returning-from-rehab Jesus Flores and prospect Derek Norris. The early speculation has Flores being the catcher most likely to depart, but inasmuch as Castro's injury should have him back by 2012, it seems more likely that Houston would want a short-term replacement. San Diego had signed Zaun to back up starter Nick Hundley, and still have Rob Johnson on board.
Given the criteria, I'd be more inclined to think either team would be more interested in Rodriguez than any of the other three. He's only under contract for 2011, and his influence on younger players, even short-term, can be considerable. The Nationals would likely want less in return, and if indeed Jesus Flores is 100 percent, a Ramos-Flores catching tandem would make sense this year, with Norris getting an everyday gig in the higher minor leagues. Rodriguez spent 93 games with Houston in 2009, and would likely get many more plate appearances there this season in his quest to reach the 3,000-hit plateau.
I'm not advocating getting rid of I-Rod, but simply pointing out what may be going on backstage.