Thursday, May 26, 2011

Pudge as a San Francisco Giant?

Baseball players get hurt. It's a terrible part of the game, and it seems to resonate with people more when players (especially stars) get hurt by colliding with others. The Nats aren't immune to this as Nick Johnson, the team's star 1B in 2006, was lost for the year because of a broken femur caused by a nasty collision with Austin Kearns. It's an unfortunate part of sports; discuss the merits of blocking the plate as you may.

But now that Buster Posey is likely done for the season with a broken leg, the Giants are going to have to look elsewhere for catchers. Like most teams when they have a superstar in a position, there's not a lot of great contingency plans for that guys replacement. This was evidenced when the Twins parted with their top catching prospect, Wilson Ramos, to the Nats last season. After all, they have Joe Mauer (also on the DL, at the moment).

Posey's backup, Eli Whiteside, can't compare with the individual he's replacing, and no one asks him to. Until the injury, Posey and Whiteside were the only two catchers on the Giants 40-man roster. As a reaction, the Giants called up journeyman (sort of) C Chris Stewart. RotoWorld posts this damning summary of the roster move: "Sadly, this is the best they can do. Stewart, 29, owns an underwhelming .256/.328/.360 batting line over parts of 10 seasons in the minor leagues and has appeared in 26 major league games between the White Sox, Yankees, Rangers and Padres. Hopefully he'll just be a placeholder until the Giants can acquire a catcher." It's hard to even be a journeyman with 29 MLB starts with 4 different teams.

Further, it leaves the defending World Champs with 2 real options:
  1. Stick with Chris Stewart, the 29-year old that had his contract purchased by the bigs out of sheer desperation, as a backup.
  2. Make a move.
Should the organization choose to do the latter, and I imagine they will, one guy would be the perfect for the situation: Pudge Rodriguez. Pudge is certainly not in the prime of his career any longer, but he could provide a lot to the Giants organization as far as catching experience. He proved that he was capable of still getting regular starts last season, and his offensive production is average for a catcher, and pretty stellar for one of his age. He's the type of veteran that does a team well while making a playoff push. It's definitely something that both the Nats and the Giants should consider.

Pudge is scheduled to be a free agent after this season, which would provide the Giants the opportunity to let him reach free agency if Posey is ready to start 2012.

What say you, CapBallers? Would you trade Pudge for some prospects?


  1. Absolutely! Despite the fact that Flores has not lit the sky up in Syracuse, he will do fine. When he got sent down for a brief rehab stint in '08(?) he didn't hit Minor League pitching, but roared back to life in the Bigs.

  2. Pudge would fit in anywhere, is fit and can still play the game. They would probably give us something for him. Flores can play backup to Ramos for the rest of the season. Sounds like a win-win - well , except for Buster Posey - I did not know that his leg was broken - saw the collision but have not been online today. Sorry to hear that - great kid.

  3. By the way, first time commenter here - like your blog and am looking for other options to nj and nats insider. Getting nasty over there.

  4. Thanks for stopping in masnstinks, we are more than happy to have you. We are but a humble blog that has only seen a few trolls in our time! Its definitely a tough week to be a Nats fan...

  5. Good prospects, yes. Mediocre prospects, no. I'd like to demand a hefty price for the best catcher of the last 20 years. So if the Giants (or whoever) offer something juicy, let's trade Pudge. But if we only get Cristian Guzman-level prospects, don't deal him. Remember how well he handles the young catchers and the young pitchers, especially Strasburg.

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