Kelly Shoppach Traded to Rays
In the past week, Ed at MetsFever, DJ Short, and Ted Berg all discussed Indians catcher Kelly Shoppach, who would become available if he were non-tendered.
Before I could weigh in on the subject, however, the Indians traded Shoppach to the Tampa Bay Rays.
As a free agent, I liked the idea of 29-year-old Kelly Shoppach — much more than I like the thought of Bengie Molina. But that ship has now sailed, so forget it.
However, whenever one door closes, another opens, right? And with the acquisition of Shoppach, the Rays have to do something with incumbent catcher Dioner Navarro. A-ha !
Navarro hits from both sides of the plate, has a strong arm, and was an All-Star in 2008. Oh, did I mention he’s only 25 years old?
The downside to Navarro is he had an awful year at the plate in 2009, hitting only .218. However, his impressive 2008 season suggests that he has offensive skills — maybe all he needs is a change in scenery to see them return. Again, he’s only 25, so there’s plenty of time to make a comeback. After his awful ’09, there’s a good chance that the Rays non-tender Navarro. If so, he’ll become a free agent, in which case, I’d hope the Mets would at least make an inquiry. After all, switch-hitting All-Star catchers in their mid-20s don’t grow on trees.
When he was on the braves he used to kick out butts! But that was a millions years ago.