LA Angels linked to Francisco Cervelli at catcher
By David Rice
At the 2018 trade deadline the LA Angels traded away one of the best defensive catchers in team history in Martin Maldonado. At the time it made sense as his contract was expiring at the end of the season.
Unfortunately since then the LA Angels catching situation has not been great. Francisco Arcia and Jose Briceno both played adequately, but both of them are not ready for a role of full-time starting catcher. The Angels let Arcia walk away as a free agent and Briceno will most likely be the back-up.
So the question is who will fill the role as the Angels starting catcher. The Angels do not have a major-league ready catcher in the minors so they will need to look elsewhere. Some of the possible names that have been mentioned include Wilson Ramos formerly of Tampa Bay, and there have even been rumors that Maldonado may re-sign with the Angels.
A new name to add to the mix is Pittsburgh Pirates catcher Francisco Cervelli as there have been reports that they have shown interest in acquiring him from the Pirates. Cervelli is signed through 2019 for around 11 million dollars per season. Cervelli has played with multiple teams in his 10-year major league career. Cervelli came up with the Yankees before being traded to the Pirates four seasons ago.
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Cervelli was just a back-up catcher with the Yankees before being traded to the Pirates in the winter of 2015. Since then Cervelli has played very well hitting .270 with 25 homers and 185 RBIs and a .368 OBP. He is also considered a very strong defensive catcher as well.
We all know that Martin Maldonado was pretty much a defensive catcher, but not as much as a hitter. Wilson Ramos could be the best of both worlds, but he is also going to be the most expensive of the three probably commanding a salary of about 13 million dollars per year compared to about seven million dollars a year for Maldonado and we already said Cervelli is going to get around 11 million dollars next year.
What would the Angels have to give up to get Cervelli would probably be a couple of mid-level prospects or maybe one of the higher-level prospects like maybe a Matt Thaiss or maybe a Jose Ramos or a Jared Walsh wh are close to being major league ready.
Over the next couple of weeks the Angels will decide on what way they want to go at the catching position as well as adding other potential players in areas of need mainly starting pitchers.