What do you mean you don’t want to keep exploring backup catcher options? Last week Nick explored the backup catching options for the White Sox and we all learned what we probably already expected: everybody stinks. There are a handful of quality starting catchers in the league and then the drop off is steep. If a guy is known as a backup catcher, there is likely a reason, so it makes sense that the options are slim. Paying a guy much money to be that backup may or may not make much sense. Some just want that experience and durability. After all, the backup has to have the trust of the starting pitching staff to some extent. Obviously, though, you don’t want to be dumping any significant percentage of your payroll on a guy who may play once a week and with little to no offensive production.
Earlier today Josh Phegley was among those added to the 40-Man Roster indicating that the White Sox may at least be entertaining the idea of him coming in as the backup. Today the Royals also designated Adam Moore for assignment. Moore, once a top prospect within the Mariners’ system, has seen his stock drop drastically after about 250 unproductive major league at-bats and knee surgery to begin the 2012 season. That knee surgery lead to being let go by the Mariners, which in turn allowed the Royals to pick him up, and now they have seen enough as well. They’re good with lots of Salvador Salvador Perez and evidently Brett Hayes (Brayan Pena was also DFA’d, but is of less interest due to age/service time). The White Sox could go with Moore as an option to back up Tyler Flowers, though allowing Phegley additional time in the minors, which he could probably use. Moore, meanwhile, is at a do it or don’t point in his career. His small sampling of major league AB’s provides an unimpressive 196.232/.306 line, spread over tiny pieces of 4 seasons. In the minors, however, he’s got a career line of .298/.363/.474; he’s been successful at every level save for the highest thus far. AAA is full of guys with killer minor league numbers and weak big league stats (Dan Johnson, anybody) but I suspect Moore is holding out for one more solid shot on a big league roster before it’s decided that he doesn’t have what it takes.
With barely any service time, Moore would still be in line to earn close to the league minimum, which might prove more attractive to Hahn and Co. than tossing a million or two in the direction of a Kelly Shoppach to see if he can provide any value.