Kelly Shoppach Traded to Rays

kellyshopIn 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.

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About the Author

Joe Janish began MetsToday in 2005 to provide the unique perspective of a high-level player and coach -- he earned NCAA D-1 All-American honors as a catcher and coached several players who went on to play pro ball. As a result his posts often include mechanical evaluations, scout-like analysis, and opinions that go beyond the numbers. Follow Joe's baseball tips on Twitter at @onbaseball and at the On Baseball Google Plus page.

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