San Francisco Giants Could Target Catcher by Deadline: Is It Worth It?

Ray TannockSenior Analyst IJune 23, 2011

SAN FRANCISCO, CA - MAY 24:  Buster Posey #28 of the San Francisco Giants gets ready to catch against the Florida Marlins at AT&T Park on May 24, 2011 in San Francisco, California.  (Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images)
Ezra Shaw/Getty Images

With Buster Posey missing the rest of the 2011 season, and the MLB trade deadline fast approaching, the San Francisco Giants needs to make a few personnel decisions starting with the back stop.

But is it really worth it?

The problem here is a few minor details that have to be considered, and it all starts with the current Giants’ occupying the rental space behind the plate.

Eli Whiteside has assumed the duties of catching, and has performed marginal at best. Through 86 at bats, Whiteside is sporting a mediocre .221/.299/.372 batting line and has a strike to ball ratio of 3 to 1 —(21:9).

The problem is Whiteside doesn’t see the ball very well, and offers very little in the way of power. Even his current surge (four hits, four RBI and a single home run in his last two outings) is a chilling reminder that you’re not going to get much more than that from the 31 year old.

The other player in question is Chris Stewart, whom the Giants recently acquired from Triple-A Fresno.

Stewart has 10 seasons in the minors under his belt and little to show for it with a career .256/.328/.360 batting line, and five years of pro ball under his belt with an even worse combined .181/.234/.222 batting line with five different teams.

Sufficed to say, the Giants need and probably will target a catcher before July 31st, but again, is it worth it?

The Giants have two immediate options they can explore in Brewers youngster George Kottaras, and Nationals veteran Ivan Rodriguez.

Kottaras is a dazzling hitter who is currently the owner of an impressive .290/.324/.516 batting line with a pair of home runs and seven RBI in just 31 AB, but the Brewers will probably require more than the Giants are willing to give in return since the Brew Crew is a contending team and don’t necessarily have to give the kid up.

Plus, they know the Giants are desperate which doesn’t help matters either.

Ivan Rodriguez has been having a modest year in 2011, but may also be out of reach for the Giants—not to mention he’s 39 years old and on the decline.

But the answer to the question at hand is simple: yes it is worth to find a quality catcher.

The Giants have one ace up their sleeve in prospect Hector Sanchez who has been lighting up Triple-A Fresno (.289/.357/.421), and tore up Single-A San Jose (.301.321.511 with eight home runs and 46 RBI), but if anything happens to Whiteside or Stewart, the Giants will be suddenly without any depth.

The Giants can easily offer a two or three-year deal to just about anyone they want, which could help boost the team’s offense, while providing some additional insurance at the backstop, even when Posey returns in 2012.

So yes, it is definitely worth it.

This writer thinks the Giants can put together some sort of deal with Milwaukee, and also believe it is their best option right now, but whether or not the Giants go for him is left to be seen.

Whatever they do between now and the deadline, though, they had better make sure that acquiring a catcher is first on their priority list.

It could just be the most worthy transaction they makes this season.