After getting off to a great start in 2014, Baltimore Orioles’ catcher Matt Wieters suffered an injury that has prematurely ended his entire season. Since there is no player in the organization capable of stepping in and taking over the catching duties without being a huge downgrade offensively, the Orioles should consider targeting one of these players to replace Wieters for the remainder of the 2014 season.
Veteran catcher Russell Martin could immediately increase his offensive totals once inserted into the Orioles’ lineup. Martin offers more than occasional home runs and a dependable bat. His experience is what would benefit the team most.
A free agent after the 2014 season, the Orioles have no commitment to Martin after their push to the playoffs this season. Clearly they want Wieters to be the guy behind the plate for a few more years, but right now they need some immediate help. Martin won’t cost much and the Pittsburgh Pirates are most likely ready to move on from him as long as they get a prospect or two in exchange.
John Jaso/Derek Norris
The Oakland Athletics have a great problem: they have two catchers capable of starting at the major league level. These two men are John Jaso and Derek Norris. Primarily splitting time as the team’s backstop in 2014, the Athletics do not have a need to keep both of these men. A trade with the Orioles could fetch the Athletics something they need which allows everyone to win.
Neither Jaso nor Norris standout from the other. The biggest difference is that Jaso swings from the left side of the plate and Norris does so from the right. Since Norris is the younger of the two the Athletics are less likely to trade him, leaving the Orioles with Jaso. Depending on what the Orioles do in 2015, Jaso could work well as the team’s backup catcher until his contract expires. Wieters is definitely the guy to keep. Until they know the side effects of his injury it would be nice to have someone able to start the majority of the games. There’s no reason why this trade shouldn’t happen.
In spite of a slightly overachieving pitching staff, the Minnesota Twins are still not a team that will look to add toward the immediate future in 2014. One upcoming free agent they could easily trade and get something back for is catcher Kurt Suzuki.
By no means a superstar, Suzuki is the perfect middle tier catcher that could step in temporarily for Wieters. Based on the fact that the Twins are in no rush to win a World Series, it’s imperative they make moves to benefit them in the future instead of holding onto a veteran catcher like Suzuki. The Twins already have Josmil Pinto on the roster to fill in for the rest of the season and possibly beyond. Suzuki wouldn’t need to do anything more than play some good defense and come through in the clutch. He is more than capable of doing that and more which is why he would fit in perfectly with the Orioles.
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