The Milwaukee Brewers’ catchers didn’t do very well offensively last season so they may be looking to beef up the position in 2019.
With Stephen Vogt becoming a free agent after coming off shoulder surgery, the Milwaukee Brewers are a little short on big league experience in their catching ranks. Should they look for an outside upgrade, the free agent market is likely to provide the best options.
Here are some of the top free agent catchers based on last season’s Wins Above Replacement (WAR) statistic (provided by Baseball Reference).
Many Brewers fans will remember Grandal as the catcher that had several miscues behind the plate during the NLCS. When you look further into his stats, he has shown to be a good hitting catcher over the last few years. This includes 24 HR’s and an OBP close to .350 in 2018.
Grandal’s WAR number is also three times better than Manny Pina‘s. He’s already 30 years old, which means he probably shouldn’t be a long term commitment for any team that signs him.
Ramos is another catcher who can hit pretty well and has a WAR stat that is more than double Pina’s. He can hit for average, hitting over .300 in two of the last three years. Ramos also has decent pop, hitting double digit home runs two out of the last three years.
He is another player who won’t be a long term answer for the Brewers because he’s 31 years old, but could be a nice bat at the end of the Brewer order.
Suzuki is 35 years old and is probably reaching the end of his career, but he seems to have found the fountain of youth when it comes to hitting. Suzuki has a batting average over the last two seasons that has averaged .277. His WAR almost doubles Pina’s and he has averaged more than 15 HR’s in the last two seasons.
A short term commitment and a platoon situation might be perfect for him and the Brewers. That’d likely be the case with him an Pina in 2019 if he were to sign with Milwaukee.
Chirinos has served as a backup for most of his career and has less than 300 at bats in five of his seven years in the league. Last year, he had a career-high 360 AB’s. Even though he’s 34 years old, his body hasn’t seen a ton of wear and tear.
His WAR stat is slightly higher than Pina’s and last year he hit 18 HR’s and 65 RBI’s. In 2017, he hit 17 HR’s in less than 265 AB’s. Chirinos’ batting average in 2018 was low at .222, but his OBP was more than 100 points higher at .338.
If the Milwaukee Brewers are looking for some short term options to strengthen this position, there are some free agent possibilities out there that won’t break the bank.