Tuesday, March 18, 2008
Word out of Reds camp is that they are looking for an everyday catcher. They are worried about David Ross behind the plate and want someone who can play most of the time, if not everyday this season. Here some possibilities for the Reds:
Michael Barrett, Padres: The Padres have Colt Morton and could have him backup to Josh Bard if they traded Barrett. If the Padres could land an outfielder and a minor league pitcher it might be worth it. However, Barrett was solid in 2006 and is likely to return to form if he plays enough. I think this is the best bet for the Reds. Barrett hit a combined .290 AVG with 48 HR and 179 RBI in 179 games under Dusty Baker, who happens to be their new manager. Playing under his good friend and other former teammates, in a division he is familiar with might allow him to return to 2006 form.
Jeff Clement, Mariners: Although he is young, if the Mariners could force the Reds to part with one of their young guns, they might be able to land him. Then they would have a long term catcher who has a lot of potential. Would it take Homer Bailey? They have Cueto and Volquez, so he might be expendable. It is also possible we could see Johjima instead of Clement, but I think it is unlikely.
Jeff Mathis, Angels: If the Reds wanted to take a chance on Mathis, maybe they could offer Matt Belisle. The Angels need pitching and acquiring the young Mathis might do the trick. He isn't a guarantee star though, so they probably would like a solid back up.
Brandon Inge, Tigers: You know the story. The Reds could jump in at the last minute and make Inge their everyday catcher, but I do not know how interested he is in playing there.
Other less likely possibilities include Ramon Hernandez, Gregg Zaun, and Josh Phelps. I think they might trade for a catcher, but it has been all talk this offseason so they might just stick with Ross.