A catcher for the Angels to sign if they miss out on Gary Sanchez

Apr 22, 2022; Chicago, Illinois, USA; Pittsburgh Pirates catcher Roberto Perez (55) hits a home run
Apr 22, 2022; Chicago, Illinois, USA; Pittsburgh Pirates catcher Roberto Perez (55) hits a home run / Quinn Harris-USA TODAY Sports

The Los Angeles Angels are reportedly looking for an addition at the catcher position. With Logan O'Hoppe having only 14 at-bats under his belt and Matt Thaiss not showing much at all in his experience at the big league level, it makes sense to bring in a veteran to potentially pair with Max Stassi until O'Hoppe is deemed ready for the bigs.

A catcher the Angels have been linked to is Gary Sanchez. He's the best catcher available and would be the only real upgrade over what the Angels have right now. If the Angels don't end up with their guy, there's a decent alternative for the Angels to pursue.

Roberto Perez would be a decent alternative if the Angels fail to sign Gary Sanchez.

Willson Contreras was the best catcher on the market by far. Christian Vazquez was the second-best catcher on the market by far. After Vazquez, things got pretty dicey. Guys like Mike Zunino, Omar Narvaez, Tucker Barnhart, and Gary Sanchez would be in that next tier. I think Roberto Perez would be slightly below those guys.

The Angels would not be signing Perez for his bat at all. He's slashed .207/.298/.360 with 55 home runs and 192 RBI in his nine-year career. His OPS+ of 75 is very unappealing, and if the Angels went with Perez and Stassi it'd probably be the worst offensive-catching duo in the game.

The reason the Angels would sign Perez would be his glove. He won back-to-back Gold Glove Awards in 2019 and 2020 playing for Cleveland. He had a whopping 30 DRS in 2019 while ranking in the 85th percentile in pitch framing. He has 79 DRS in his career including 3 in just 21 games this past season.

Defense matters at the catcher position more than any other, and that is why Perez has had nine years of MLB experience.

Perez was going to be the Pirates catcher for the 2022 campaign and got off to a nice start, slashing .233/.333/.367 with a 98 OPS+ in 21 games before a hamstring injury ended his season in May prematurely.

Perez because of his lackluster bat and season-ending injury might not even command a MLB contract. If he does, it'd be very cheap. He'd give the Angels a MLB option to use behind the plate if they believe O'Hoppe isn't ready and once he is ready they can cut bait without losing much of anything. This would allow the team to focus on other bigger needs like the rotation and bullpen.

I'd rather have the better player in Gary Sanchez if the Angels were going to decide between the two but so would the other catcher-needy teams which is why he's going to cost more. The perfect scenario would be O'Hoppe being ready for Opening Day. The next best scenario would be signing Gary Sanchez. If neither of the top-two scenarios comes to fruition, signing Roberto Perez wouldn't be the worst thing. It's not like a Stassi-Thaiss combination would produce much either.

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