MLB Trade Speculation: 4 Catchers Who Could Be Moved to Contenders

Christopher Czar@@detsportsczarContributor IApril 27, 2011

MLB Trade Speculation: 4 Catchers Who Could Be Moved to Contenders

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    Catchers are the offensive linemen of baseball—unappreciated for what they do and you only know the really good ones.

    Outside of stalwarts like Mauer, McCann and Martinez and up-and-comers like Santana and Posey, the pickings are slim.

    Most of the rest of the guys are backups and mediocre starters who tend to bounce around more than Megan Fox on a trampoline.

    As the grueling baseball season wears on, the rigor of the position takes a toll on backstops, and a .260 batting average or a strong throwing arm could look extremely good to a team during a pennant chase.

    This is my list of catchers due for address changes along with my opinion on where they could end up.

    I warn you that this list isn't especially pretty. Mostly it's filled with has-beens and never-beens in contract years who might be just good enough to fill in for contenders and push them over the top.

1. Miguel Montero

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    By far the best long-term catching prospect on this list.

    His defense has never caused him to be confused with Yadier Molina, but he's a good-hitting catcher who could provide a spark to a team in the hunt

    Because of his age and upside, Montero probably wouldn't come cheap, but the Diamondbacks could use as much talent as possible, so a deal would be possible.

    The Diamondbacks claim they want to sign Montero long term. Their actions the past two seasons suggest otherwise, as he's avoided arbitration twice with one-year deals.

    Look for Montero to finally get traded this year, with the previously rumored Red Sox looking to be a likely landing spot.

2. Jose Molina

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    He's a Molina (aka the "Kennedys of catching") so you know he can play the position.

    With J.P. Arencibia the long-term answer in Toronto, Molina becomes expendable and likely to be a trade target for competitive teams in need of defensive options at the position.

    The defensive whiz threw out four Devil Rays in a game last year and has been playing well for the Blue Jays, coming off one of his better offensive seasons during his long career.

    A team desperate for a veteran presence at the position, such as the LA Angels, is a possible landing spot.

3. Ryan Doumit

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    With former No. 4-overall draft pick and ultra-talented Tony Sanchez working his way up the minors, and with Chris Snyder playing capably for the Bucs in the meantime, Doumit seems to be expendable. 

    Especially with his $7.5-million club option for 2012 that certainly won't be picked up.

    Despite being one of the scariest looking dudes you'll see, opposing runners were fearless and had a field day against Doumit last year.

    Still, his stick makes him look like Kirby Puckett compared to some catchers. The Pirates have tried to keep his bat in the lineup by playing him at first and in the outfield.

    A place desperate for an offensive option at catcher, such as Colorado, might be a good fit.

4. Ivan Rodriguez

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    The timeless future Hall of Famer has seen his better days.

    However, the nearly 40-year-old Ivan Rodriguez should be commended that he is still able to play position as much as he is.

    His offense is way down early this year, but he's proved the last few years to still be a decent hitter, especially for the position.

    Pudge has already been dealt a couple times down the stretch in his career, and he might have one more in him.

    A place with injury concerns at the position, such as Minnesota with Joe Mauer, might be a good landing spot.