While wondering why Hollywood never gave us “Kansas City Bomber II”...
The Orioles’ 40-man roster still includes only one catcher, All-Star and Gold Glove winner Matt Wieters. He’ll need a backup next season, unless the club is relying on him to play every inning of every game.
Triple-A catcher John Hester could compete for the job in spring training, assuming he receives an invite. He played in 53 major league games in two seasons with the Diamondbacks, most recently in 2010.
As for free agents, here’s the list from MLBTradeRumors.com:
Rod Barajas (36) - Type B
Josh Bard (34)
Ramon Castro (36)
Ryan Doumit (31) - Type B
Jake Fox (29)
Ramon Hernandez (36) - Type A
Rob Johnson (28)
Jason Kendall (38)
Gerald Laird (32)
Jose Molina (36) - Type B
Dioner Navarro (28)
Ivan Rodriguez (40)
Brian Schneider (35)
Kelly Shoppach (32)
Chris Snyder (31) - Type B
J.R. Towles (28)
Matt Treanor (36)
Jason Varitek (40) - Type B
Manager Buck Showalter would like to give Wieters a little more rest next season, but any catcher coming to Baltimore will have to be comfortable sitting on the bench. Anyone looking for significant innings need not apply.
Same goes for anyone looking to make big bucks. The Orioles aren’t going to make a large financial commitment to another catcher.
The Orioles tried to sign Treanor a few years ago, but he chose the Tigers - and appeared in only four games.
Would Rodriguez be content in such a reduced role?
Rodriguez wasn’t viewed as the mentor type back in his Rangers days, when he took only a passing interest in pitcher-catcher meetings, but he’s in another phase of his career.
Jorge Posada is listed among the designated hitters. He might choose retirement.
I’ve already seen a few tweets suggesting that he’d be a good fit for the Orioles, someone who would be a positive influence on Wieters and help him to become an elite catcher.
Is Posada still a catcher?
He served as the designated hitter in 82 games this year. He caught once. He also batted .235, though he hit 14 home runs.
It’s not like the Orioles have demanded a lot of offense from their backup, but what could Posada give them behind the plate? And honestly, would he be happy going from the Yankees to the Orioles?
I realize that backup catcher is pretty low on the Orioles’ list of priorities. They could sign a minor league free agent to replace Craig Tatum. They could lure Jeff Tackett out of retirement.
I’m sure of one thing: Fox won’t be back.
Let me know if you have a preference.
ESPN.com’s Jerry Crasnick reported yesterday that former Orioles reliever Kam Mickolio will pitch in Japan next season.
The Orioles acquired Mickolio from the Mariners in the Erik Bedard trade and packaged him with David Hernandez in the Mark Reynolds trade. He appeared in only six games with the Diamondbacks this season, allowing five runs and 10 hits in 6 2/3 innings.