The Milwaukee Brewers are still searching for a long term solution at catcher. A few names are off the market, and a few teams are no longer in on some of the bigger names available. Let’s take a look at the movement in the catcher market.
Wilson Ramos? Signed! J.T. Realmuto? The Braves were in, and now they’re out, but the Dodgers and Rays are in? The catcher market is starting to move, and the Milwaukee Brewers may have to make a decision on catcher soon. Can they really start the season with Manny Pina, Erik Kratz, and Jacob Nottingham as their answer behind the dish, or will they add?
What’s the latest on Wilson Ramos?
Ramos signed a two-year deal worth $19 million with the New York Mets. The deal is still pending a physical, but it’s pretty much done.
Which free agent catchers are still left?
Options are getting limited. Yasmani Grandal is still the top option and still available, but there aren’t very many other names. The remaining free agent catchers include Martin Maldonado, Devin Mesoraco, Matt Wieters, and Jonathan Lucroy. Free agent options at catcher are really starting to thin out.
How about the J.T. Realmuto sweepstakes?
It really depends on what day it is. There have been several rumors swirling around Realmuto, but nothing has progressed to a deal. The Braves were rumored to be in on Realmuto, and the next day, they were rumored to be out.
There were rumors of a three-way deal between the Mets, Padres, and Marlins that would send Realmuto to New York. The Mets are out on Realmuto after adding Ramos. The latest rumors have the Rays and the Dodgers ‘in’ on Realmuto.
The Milwaukee Brewers haven’t been seriously linked to Realmuto for most of the off season. If they are, it’s always as a peripheral team, and not a major player. David Stearns could be slow playing a slow market, or he might not like the prices he’s hearing. Either way, seeing Realmuto in a Brewers uniform in February looks like a long shot.
Is there anyone else on the trade market?
Actually, yeah. The Mets signed Ramos, and will go with Travis d’Arnaud as their second catcher. Kevin Plawecki is rumored to be available now. Plawecki is a solid defender, and offers a bit more upside at the plate than Pina or Kratz. He hasn’t been linked to the Milwaukee Brewers, but he wouldn’t cost a ton in a trade, and comes with a few years of team control. The Brewers could do a lot worse at catcher.
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There are still options available, but if the Milwaukee Brewers are serious about upgrading at catcher, they need to move quickly. Ramos and Robinson Chirinos made sense for the Brewers, but they’re both off the market. Unless Stearns wants to pick over leftovers, he’ll need to find a solution before even more dominoes start to fall.