LA Angels Need to Act As Catcher Market Heats Up
With the recent signings of catchers Yasmani Grandal and Travis d’Arnaud, the LA Angels need to hurry if they are to look at upgraded behind the plate. There are currently a handful of catchers that are still out there on the free agent market including Jason Castro, Robinson Chirinos, Francisco Cervelli, and Martin Maldonado.
The one catcher that might strike the most interest for the LA Angels because they have a good relationship with him, is previously mentioned Martin Maldonado. The Angels had originally drafted Maldonado back in 2004, so he obviously knows the staff well and has fallen back into the Angels lap before after a trade with the Milwaukee Brewers.
His experience with other teams could prove beneficial to the Angels because he’s worked with other pitching staffs before, especially the division rival Houston Astros, who he has been on twice.
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Currently, the Angels have 3 catchers on their active roster which are Max Stassi, Kevan Smith, and Anthony Bemboom, and if they are to make improvements to their starting rotation, they need a good complimentary piece in terms of a solid catcher that is good with framing and controlling a pitching staff.
Surprisingly, Max Stassi is ranked 11th in terms of pitch framing, which could see him getting more playing time if the Angels don’t get a huge upgrade and hold onto Stassi as a good backup piece.
If the Angels look to go for more of an offensive route behind the plate, they could get it via a trade with the very busy Chicago White Sox. The White Sox have recently acquired arguably the best catcher in the free agent market, Yasmani Grandal, which could prompt them to trade their current catcher, James McCann.
McCann had a pretty impressive year in terms of offensive numbers as he posted a .273 batting average, .328 on base percentage, and .789 on base plus slugging. McCann even got his first All Star appearance last season. There could certainly be a need for him as he posted higher offensive numbers then the 3 catchers the Angels have currently.
The Angels have completed trades with the White Sox in the past, the most recent one being part of the huge three team trade involving the Arizona Diamondbacks that brought Hector Santiago and Tyler Skaggs back to Anaheim.
The White Sox may want a piece they could see in their system for the foreseeable future which the Angels may be comfortable giving up. No matter how the Angels determine where their future catcher comes from, there is no doubt the Angels will certainly be looking to add to that position.