Catchers Market Shrinking Fast

Mets interested in former Red Sox catcher, Jason Varitek

Despite the Winter Meetings still days away, the market for catchers has shrunk by more than 50% in the first four weeks of free agency. As you will see in the chart I created below, only seven of 15 catchers initially available remain.

In addition to the catchers that signed already, several have been moved in trades with the most recent, Chris Iannetta, being traded from the Colorado Rockies to the Oakland Athletics.

Other catchers that have swapped uniforms this offseason include Taylor Teagarden now with the Orioles and John Baker now with the Padres.

Sandy Alderson said on Thursday while speaking to reporters on a conference call that one of his goals this offseason was to try and upgrade the catching position and as recently as yesterday rumors circulated that the Mets were pursuing Jason Varitek.

Last season, Varitek batted .221 with 11 home runs and 36 RBI in 222 at-bats for the Red Sox, but his defensive skills were in serious declined and he ranked as one of the worst defensive backstops.

If your goal is defense, Kelly Shoppach in the best of the bunch followed by Ivan Rodriguez, but Shoppach batted an atrocious .176 last season in 221 at-bats for the Rays.

The best options at catcher were scooped up early and not much remains at this point.