Chicago White Sox catching options in 2016
By Brett Pnazek
2016 Free Agents
There isn’t much out there in free agency next season. Most guys have been career backups, injury prone or their best days are behind them. There are two guys of interest though.
Matt Wieters – If the Orioles cannot re-sign him he’s is by far the best free agent catcher on the market. When healthy he is one of the best in the American League but the key word is when. While more of an offensive catcher he is by far an upgrade over what is currently on the team and he’s done quite well managing a bunch of no-name pitchers in Baltimore. The downside is that he’s looking to get paid and the question is whether the White Sox would be willing to pony up the dollars to bring him to town.
Aug 7, 2015; Anaheim, CA, USA; Baltimore Orioles catcher Matt Wieters (32) hits a one run home run against the Los Angeles Angels during the sixth inning at Angel Stadium of Anaheim. Mandatory Credit: Richard Mackson-USA TODAY Sports
Alex Avila – As a White Sox fan in Michigan I hear everyday about how much Avila stinks but the reality is that he’s only 28 and is capable of bouncing back. He’s battled injuries for the past few years but that should only make him cheaper. I’m not saying sign him to a long-term deal but giving him a three year deal around $16 million could be good enough to entice him.
The Trade Market
The White Sox could always look to make a trade in the offseason as well to bring in another catcher. However there is much uncertainty about who could be available in trades. One name that comes to mind is Derek Norris of the San Diego Padres.
He’s offensively better than what is already on the White Sox and while his defense is average the boost offensively he’d get by playing at U.S. Cellular could offset any defensive liabilities. Plus he’s only 26. Why would he available you ask? He’s just keeping the seat warm for Austin Hedges who is playing the role of backup this year before likely assuming control next year.
Aug 8, 2015; San Diego, CA, USA; San Diego Padres catcher Derek Norris (3) reacts to a called strike during the seventh inning against the Philadelphia Phillies at Petco Park. Mandatory Credit: Jake Roth-USA TODAY Sports
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