Globe iconLogin iconRecap iconSearch iconTickets icon

news

MLB News

Texas seeking backup catcher who can step up

MLB.com

ARLINGTON -- The Rangers have many options to consider, but one issue that must be addressed before the offseason is over is finding a backup catcher to pair with Geovany Soto behind the plate in 2014.

There has been a run of catchers lately in the free-agent market this week, with A.J. Pierzynski, Jarrod Saltalamacchia and Dioner Navarro agreeing to deals with other clubs. The Rays also acquired catcher Ryan Hanigan from the Reds in a three-way deal that included the D-backs. Brian McCann signed with the Yankees on Tuesday after his agent had some dialogue with the Rangers.

ARLINGTON -- The Rangers have many options to consider, but one issue that must be addressed before the offseason is over is finding a backup catcher to pair with Geovany Soto behind the plate in 2014.

There has been a run of catchers lately in the free-agent market this week, with A.J. Pierzynski, Jarrod Saltalamacchia and Dioner Navarro agreeing to deals with other clubs. The Rays also acquired catcher Ryan Hanigan from the Reds in a three-way deal that included the D-backs. Brian McCann signed with the Yankees on Tuesday after his agent had some dialogue with the Rangers.

"Nobody has come off the board that we really pursued," Rangers general manager Jon Daniels said. "There are some good players that have gone off the board that were not the right fit. I'm confident we will find the right fit."

The Rangers have interest in Kurt Suzuki, who split time between the Nationals and the Athletics this past season. He was the A's starting catcher between 2008-12 before being traded to the Nats in 2012. Oakland reacquired him on Aug. 22 for the stretch run.

Suzuki is considered a capable defensive catcher with occasional power at the plate. He has also been on the disabled list just once in the past seven years.

The Rangers also had serious discussions with the Blue Jays about catcher J.P. Arencibia before he was non-tendered on Monday. A trade was close to being completed but the Rangers were reluctant to add another arbitration-eligible player. The Rangers were willing to do a trade if Arencibia was willing to agree to a contract that would have avoided arbitration. But it never got worked out and now Arencibia, who hit .194 last year, is another free agent under consideration.

"We're looking for the best all-around fit," Daniels said. "We place a high value on durability. If Geo went down, we would want somebody who could step in and be an everyday guy. Geo is our starter. He is going to get the majority of the time going in. Once the season starts, we're going to play the guys who can help us win. We want somebody who can come in and compete and help the club."

T.R. Sullivan is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Postcards from Elysian Fields, and follow him on Twitter @Sullivan_Ranger.

Texas Rangers, Kurt Suzuki