MLB Free Agents 2019-20: Top 5 catchers
Quality full-time catchers are hard to come by these days in MLB, and it isn't going to get any easier this winter.
It's slim pickings for teams in need of a backstop, though there are a handful of serviceable options and grizzled veterans who can help out a major league roster in 2020.
Let's take a look at the top five. . .
1. Yasmani Grandal
*Mutual Option for 2020
Grandal was an excellent signing for the Brewers last winter and will pay dividends for whichever team has him for 2020 in beyond. He slashed .246/.380/.468 with 28 home runs in 153 games in 2019, making him the top offensive free-agent catcher by a mile. His defensive prowess doesn't hurt his cause, either.
UPDATE (Nov. 21): Grandal has agreed to a four-year, $73M deal with the White Sox.
2. Jason Castro
Most known for his defensive ability, Castro produced the second-best offensive season of his career in 2019 with 13 homers and a .767 OPS. The former All-Star's consistency makes him one of the better options available entering his 10th MLB season.
UPDATE (Jan. 7): Castro has signed a one-year contract with the Los Angeles Angels.
3. Robinson Chirinos
Chirinos isn't going to wow anyone with his defense, but his ability to post an OPS around the .800 mark year in and year out will make him a coveted catching option this offseason. Especially after proving his worth on a one-year deal with the Astros.
UPDATE (Jan. 6): Chirinos has signed a one-year contract with the Texas Rangers.
4. Travis d'Arnaud
The former star Mets prospect revitalized his career with the Rays in 2019, slashing .263/.323/.459 with 16 homers in 92 games and becoming an integral part of Tampa Bay's playoff run. He may have just played his way into a fairly lucrative contract this offseason.
UPDATE (Nov. 24): d'Arnaud has agreed to a two-year, $16M deal with the Braves.
5. Francisco Cervelli
Cervelli was released by the Pirates in August after five seasons in Pittsburgh. Concussions derailed his 2019 season, but you need not look any further than 2018 to find an extremely productive campaign on his résumé. The veteran appeared to have returned to that level of production during his short stint with the Braves, so he should have plenty of suitors this winter.
UPDATE (Jan. 9): Cervelli has signed a one-year, $2 million contract with the Miami Marlins.