Your 2011 Mariners- Catcher

I guess I’ll get this position over with so we can look at some slightly less depressing spots on the roster.

Catcher

On the Roster

Adam Moore- Not having paid much attention to the last couple of months of the season, I busted out Moore’s monthly splits.  I was under the vague impression that his bat was a little better after he returned to the Mariners.  I was wrong. He did show a little more power, with three homers from August on, but that’s the extent of anything promising.  His best stretch of the season was for about three games right before he got injured.  Lots of rookies struggle, especially if they’re catching, but it’s not looking good for Moore.  I’d be curious as to how his defense looked by the end of the year.  Any thoughts?

Rob Johnson- Just going to move on.

Contract is Up

Josh Bard- Technically, Bard is a free agent, but I’m sure the Mariners could resign him if they want to.  Bard was probably the best catcher on the roster, but that’s not saying a lot.  He’s a decent backup, which is all he should be.  Unfortunately, in 2010 he was frequently the best option to start that the Mariners had.

On the Farm

Would you believe nobody?  There are plenty of journeymen, think of them as Josh Bard lite, that could show up for a few games if the big league team gets a bunch of injuries.  Otherwise, the best prospects are probably Steve Baron and Ji-man Choi.  Baron was taken high in the 2009 draft, but most feel he didn’t warrant the pick.  Reportedly a defensive specialist, his bat was horrendous this year, and the defense supposedly wasn’t anywhere near expected.  Choi has a good bat, but he might not be a catcher.  More importantly for this discussion, he just spent the year in the Arizona Rookie League, which is the lowest minor league level the Mariners have.  He won’t be helping any too soon.

Analysis

This is just as bad as shortstop but without any long term hope.  Moore could still turn into a solid starter, but no guarantees there.  I see this offseason going several ways:

  1. Give Moore most of the playing time, re-sign Bard or someone like him as a backup who can step in if Moore really struggles.
  2. Find an established full-time guy.  John Buck comes to mind, or maybe someone through trade.  Moore is then the backup or a trade piece.
  3. Shop hard for a prospect or young major league guy.  This could go in tandem with option 1, if it’s a minor league guy, or it could be someone to split time with Moore.

I’d be looking hard for a long term answer, and I’m sure the Mariners will.  Otherwise, pray for some development from Moore.  Even something like .250/.350/.425 would be a huge difference in the Mariners lineup.  That’s sad in itself, but hopeful too!

-Matthew

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