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Thanks to Red Sox, Nats and Rangers, MLB trade market for catchers could be heating up

MINNEAPOLIS — Typically we’d have to wait another 2 months into the MLB season before any trade speculation piqued our interest. A knee injury, and a change-of-plans surgery for Twins starting catcher Jason Castro has changed the timeline of our interest.

With the Twins surveying the landscape to see if they can upgrade their catching situation, several bits of news figure to impact that search. Let’s look over a few:

a) Blake Swihart’s agent apparently has asked the Red Sox to trade his client, according to Evan Drellich of NBC Sports.

Here’s an excerpt from the piece:

“Yes. We’ve had conversations with the team, and they’re aware of how we feel,” Scoffield [Swihart’s agent] told NBC Sports Boston on Tuesday night. “Blake’s in a really difficult position. We’ve got a switch-hitter, offensive impact player, and his bat deserves a chance to be in the lineup.

“With Dustin Pedroia returning, it seems now would be the time to make a move with Blake,” Scoffield  said.

It should be noted that Boston is under no obligation to trade Swihart. If they get fair value, I’m sure that they’d consider it, but it’s not every day that trade requests are granted immediately at an agent’s request.

Swihart was once a top prospect as a catcher, and he’s played around in the Red Sox organization. He’s a 26-year-old switch hitter that has played first base, outfield and catcher in his career. He hasn’t played much in his parts of 4 seasons in Boston. In 125 games, he’s batted .260/.321/.366, which is all right for a catcher.

b) Matt Wieters reportedly had hamstring surgery this week, which calls into question the catcher’s ability to return to the Nationals’ lineup. That could be a lengthy recovery, which in turn could mean Washington will be scanning the trade block for a catcher.

If the supply stays constant and the demand increases, the price shoots up.

So that Wieters injury could be bad news for the Nats — and for the Twins.

c) Ken Rosenthal of the Athletic reported recently that the Rangers are ready to consider selling off veterans.

That would ostensibly include catcher Robinson Chirinos, who is playing on an affordable contract and also has an inexpensive team option for next year. That could be a good fit for the Twins, since they’d get to decide after the season if they need the Castro Insurance Policy, or if they’re content to go back to their previous catching situation.

There are some more compelling names on that club (including future Hall of Famer Adrian Beltre), but the man of interest for the moment would be Chirinos.

Wetmore: Twins should ramp up search for a catcher in wake of Castro’s surgery

d) For what it’s worth, multiple teams called the Twins in the wake of Castro’s meniscus repair, according to Assistant General Manager Rob Antony. That’s likely standard operating procedure. But it’s worth noting that there are at least a few clubs out there that don’t feel like they need to sit around.

Twins have fielded calls from other clubs willing to trade catchers





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