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Sep 20, 2013; Chicago, IL, USA; Chicago Cubs catcher Dioner Navarro runs the bases after he hits a home run in the 8th inning of their game against the Atlanta Braves at Wrigley Field. Mandatory Credit: Matt Marton-USA TODAY Sports

MLB Free Agency: Top free agent Catchers

The market for catchers this season may not provide a lot of depth, but there are a handful of guys who can step up and provide both great offense and defense.

As of right now, in my opinion, Chicago Cubs catcher Dioner Navarro is more than likely going to pick up a great contract. Navarro is having a career season with the Cubs hitting 13 home runs and 34 RBI’s on a batting line of .303/.367/.500 through 87 games. His biggest game of the season game came in the series with the Chicago White Sox where he launched three home runs in a single game. Right now it appears that Welington Castillo could be Chicago’s number 1 catcher and Navarro is playing like a number 1, so they’ll either place Castillo on the bench or let Navarro walk away.

37 year old Ramon Hernandez is set to become a free agent once again. He’s only played in 17 games this season for the Los Angeles Dodgers with three home runs and six RBI’s with a batting line of .208/.291/.438 which isn’t all that great. He may be on his way to the retirement line with Mariano Rivera.

Atlanta Braves 29 year old catcher Brian McCann could be getting a lot of phone calls during the Winter Meetings later on this season. McCann has played in 102 games, an all-star who put up 20 home runs and 57 RBI’s with a couple of games left. He’s currently batting .256/.336/.461 as he’s hit 20+ and 50+ RBI’s in a season for the Atlanta Braves for the last six seasons.

34 year old Carlos Ruiz who has played his entire career with the Philadelphia Phillies could be moving on after this season. His production compared to last season dropped, as he hit 16 home runs and drove in 68 runs during the 2012 campaign and just having five home runs and 37 RBI’s this season. He could pick up a backup role or a starting role with a team who is looking to rebuild. His current batting line is the following, .269/.320/.370.

Jarrod Saltalamacchia (what a last name that is) is a catcher who could also play first base. This guy could wiggle his way onto a team who needs a utility man like himself. He’s previously played these positions for the Boston Red Sox, Texas Rangers and Atlanta Braves. Salty (gonna call him that because his last name is too long, unnecessary) has 14 home runs and 64 RBI’s this season on a .272/.338/.465 batting line through 119 games for the Red Sox.

Last but not least is former long time Chicago White Sox catcher A.J. Pierzynski who signed a one year contract with the Texas Rangers last Winter. The 36 year old catcher was one of the most feared catchers in the game when it came to both defense and offense. Just like his former teammates in Adam Dunn and Paul Konerko, he could also be contemplating retirement. This season A.J. smashed 17 long balls with 67 RBI’s on a batting line of .273/.296/.428 trough 130 games with the Texas Rangers. He could still pick up another one-two year contract and provide on both sides of the plate for whoever decides to pick him up. I say he still remains a Texas Ranger.

Tags: Brian McCann Carlos Ruiz Dioner Navarro Jarrod Saltalamacchia MLB Free Agency Ramon Hernandez

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