Rangers Rumors: Team in the market for a catcher

Texas Rangers catcher Jose Trevino was recalled to the Majors on Friday (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)
Texas Rangers catcher Jose Trevino was recalled to the Majors on Friday (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images) /

The Rangers continue their active Winter Meetings by showing interest in acquiring a catcher.

The fire under the Hot Stove remains stoked in Arlington as the Winter Meetings proceed.

Texas has already made one of the headliner moves of the week by trading right-hander Lance Lynn to the Chicago White Sox for pitching prospects Dane Dunning and Avery Weems.

That deal became official on Tuesday afternoon.

Now, it appears the Rangers have shifted their sights towards addressing the catcher position.

According to MLB Network Insider Jon Morosi, the Rangers are one of the teams actively engaging in the free agent catcher market.

Jason Castro, a long-time starting catcher in MLB, spent the first six years of his career with the Houston Astros, making his debut with them in 2010 (back when they were still in the National League and not American League cheaters!).

Castro left Houston after 2016, going on to spend three seasons in Minnesota with the Twins before splitting time in 2020 between the Los Angeles Angels and the San Diego Padres.

The veteran backstop has never been much of a hitter, evidenced by his career .188 batting average, .668 OPS and 83 OPS+ in 10 career seasons.

However, Castro has been renowned for his defense and ability to work with pitching staffs.

The Rangers currently have four catchers on their 40-man roster, making their interest in a player like Castro a bit curious at first glance.

One of Texas’ catchers, Sam Huff, was a former Top-100 prospect in all of baseball and got called up to the big leagues in 2020.

Huff tore it up upon arriving in Arlington, posting a ridiculous 1.136 OPS and 200 OPS+ over a small 31 at-bat sample size. Despite the limited resume to this point, Huff flashed the tools that made him a Rangers’ top prospect and gave the team a reason to believe he could be the long-term solution at catcher.

Even Jose Trevino, who took over as a starter at catcher with Jeff Mathis after Robinson Chirinos was traded to the New York Mets, was more than adequate in 2020. He posted a .715 OPS and 91 OPS+ over 76 at-bats.

He deserves a look this spring, as well.

Overall, catcher is not necessarily a position of need for the Rangers this off-season. They have decent depth at the big-league level.

However, bringing in a player like Castro or another veteran backstop this off-season could be for the purpose of replicating the role that Chirinos and Mathis jointly occupied in 2020. Both of those players served as leaders in the clubhouse, played good defense behind the plate and acted as mentors to the Rangers’ younger pitchers.