The big news today is that the Los Angeles Dodgers have hired Andrew Friedman away from the Tampa Bay Rays.
BREAKING: Andrew Friedman is leaving #Rays for #Dodgers. Matt Silverman will take over Rays baseball operations.
— Marc Topkin (@TBTimes_Rays) October 14, 2014
Friedman is one of the best executives in the game, making the Rays a contender in almost every year since 2008, all while having one of the lowest payrolls in baseball. Since the 2008 season, the Rays have 627 wins. That is one behind the Cardinals and Angels, and ranks fourth behind the Yankees, who lead baseball with 648 wins in that span. The fact that all of those teams trump the Rays in payroll every year makes this a phenomenal accomplishment.
Meanwhile, the Dodgers have practically unlimited money to spend. Their local TV deal gives them $280 M, and while they don’t get all of that money to spend on their payroll, it does allow them to out-spend every team in baseball, and gives them the ability to overpay on any player they want.
One of the best executives in the game, plus the biggest payroll in baseball means trouble. And I wouldn’t be surprised if the Pittsburgh Pirates get to see the downside to this combo in the upcoming off-season.
Currently, the Dodgers need a starting catcher. Russell Martin is the only starting catcher on the free agent market. He’s coming off a big year offensively, but his bread and butter is his defense, highlighted by his pitch framing. Under Friedman, the Rays prioritized pitch framing more than any team, except maybe the Pirates.
The Pirates signed Ali Solis as a minor league free agent for the 2013 season, and Solis was rated as one of the best pitch framers in Triple-A that year. The Rays signed him for the 2014 season. They signed Jose Molina, who is one of the best defensive catchers in the game, but not considered a starter at all. They also added Ryan Hanigan from the Reds for the 2014 season. Both catchers have been outstanding with their pitch framing skills.
So you’ve got an executive who clearly values catcher defense and pitch framing. And that executive has all of the resources needed to overpay on any player and not feel a thing if the deal goes bad. His team has a need at catcher, and the only free agent available to fill that need is exactly the type of player he tries to acquire.
Is there anyone who thinks that Russell Martin WON’T end up with the Dodgers now? They could make him a huge offer — fifth year, $17+ M per year — and wouldn’t have to worry about the percentage of their payroll that he eats up, or what might happen if his production falls off a cliff after year two or three of the contract. With the Dodgers’ need, and with Friedman’s preference, Martin makes total sense.
Tim started Pirates Prospects in 2009 from his home in Virginia, which was 40 minutes from where Pedro Alvarez made his pro debut in Lynchburg. That year, the Lynchburg Hillcats won the Carolina League championship, and Pirates Prospects was born from Tim's reporting along the way. The site has grown over the years to include many more writers, and Tim has gone on to become a credentialed MLB reporter, producing Pirates Prospects each year, and will publish his 11th Prospect Guide this offseason. He has also served as the Pittsburgh Pirates correspondent for Baseball America since 2019. Behind the scenes, Tim is an avid music lover, and most of the money he gets paid to run this site goes to vinyl records.
Yup I don’t think he ends up with Dodgers I believe he will end up with Cubs… He will still get big money but Also a team that has unbelievable young talent and will be a contender for many years… Maddon Manager can you imagine Chicago when Cubs win World Series… Yes Martin will go to Cubs…
One thing I do hope Friedman brings with him to LA is his craptastic drafting and prospect development luck/experience.
Make the qualifying offer and if he leaves, take the draft pick. I love RM but don’t see him repeating his 2014 performance. His durability also is a question. He’s getting older and is having hamstring issues. Find a stop-gap until one of the youngsters is ready.
Much as I hate to say it but martin was gone the day he signed his contract with the pirates. Unless and until baseball gets serious about a salary cap teams like the dodgers will continue to waste money on the extra years it takes to get aging players to sign with them for the two to three good years they have left.
I’m less worried about how it affects Martin and more worried about Friedman poaching Fox and/or Fitzgerald.
Presumably Friedman is pretty happy with the guys he had in Tampa and could bring most or all of them along to LA. At least I hope.
Friedman didn’t have a contract or non-compete, but did have some sort of verbal gentleman’s agreement with TB – or at least Silverman thinks so – so TB does not seem concerned Friedman will come after the analytic guys (who may be allied with Friedman’s replacement anyway). Besides, the systems/staff Friedman built has shown to be flawed based on recent drafts/trades/poor development. I’d guess he’s looking to learn more from other orgs, and the Bucs have been doing a better job at finding value than TB the past 2-3 years.
How long until Neil Huntington is offered a job by one of the big market teams?
If you go by the Friedmen situation, it’ll take continued postseason success over a 5-8 year period.
“Shut up. I told you to shut up. If I want to spend $4 million
on a ballplayer, I will. If I want to spend $12 million, I will. …
It’s my goddamn money and I’ll do what I want.”
– Padres owner Ray Kroc
“We live by the Golden Rule.
Those who have the gold make the rules.”
– Dodgers, Padres & Angels executive Buzzie Bavasi
Hiring Friedman could mean what you suggest, or it could suggest their desire to change direction, by moving to more of a “grass roots” approach and spending money more effectively. Rumor has it the Dodgers are looking to cut payroll quite a bit, to at least under $200 million. Granted, either way could still make Martin a Dodger, but the Dodgers might not be looking at this as Friedman plus gigantic payroll, but rather Friedman replacing reliance on big payroll. Plus, I trust Friedman to place more value on that QO comp pick than the Dodgers probably would have before.
Not sure if you’ve read it or not, but FanGraphs has a different take than Tim, and it sounds closer to what you suggest:
Like you said, though, still certainly doesn’t preclude them from going after Martin by any means. I just don’t think it moves the needed any closer.
From a link in that article:
“The Dodgers payroll is expected to drop into the $185-190-million range next season to offset expected financial losses from the unworkable television contract with Time Warner Cable…”
I don’t see it dropping that much, but they already have $192m committed to just 15 players for next year, with no shortstop or 5th starter.
It’s hard to see them achieving that goal unless they start selling (Friedman is a guy I’d have a lot of faith in to get good value in return.) I hadn’t read that article before – but being from L.A. originally, this is the narrative I’m hearing from people out that way quite regularly, so I’m just repeating it. Thanks for the link!
Cameron makes a really good point about their spending that I was always a bit leery of as well. Magic Johnson & Co aren’t Mike Illitch. They didn’t buy a baseball franchise with the purpose of winning rings.
They bought a baseball franchise to make money.
Even if their TV deal did allow them to make money while spending whatever they wanted(which apparently didn’t happen), the one thing rich guys love doing is getting richer.
I’ll wait for the first Nutting comment that he’s cheap for not going 5yr/85 mil. Lol, in all seriousness though, Russell picked the Pirates because of our “overpay” 2 yrs ago and will play for the next overpay as well. The man wants paid, just like everyone else in life.
The Dodgers didn’t hire Andrew Friedman to go out and spend big money on aging players. Ned Colletti was quite good at that. In fact, that was one of the stated reasons Dodgers ownership moved on from Colletti.
Andrew Friedman is smart enough to know that Russell Martin of 2014 was a mirage, and the things Russell Martin does well and projects to continue doing well don’t require 5 year commitments at $17m AAV.
Friedman’s valuation of pitch framing is undeniable. There is no other way to understand how the rays could play Jose Molina majority of these past 3 years when his OBP is <.300. Martin's offense may have been a mirage this year, but he is a much much better hitter than J.Molina, even in his worst year. Knowing the value Friedman places on pitch framing it is hard to image AJ Ellis is long for Dodger Blue and therefore it is hard to imagine that the Dodgers wouldn't want Martin. And if the point that you are making is that Russell Martin is too expensive for the Dodgers, well then it is fair to say that he is too expensive for the Pirates.
Nor did I contend with Tim’s assertion that Friedman values pitch framing.
I simply stated that he doesn’t have to go out and overpay to get it.
And as much as we can reasonably claim that Friedman values pitch framing, doesn’t it make sense to assume he also understands aging curves? Until we see him in action, all we have is comparative examples. One of which has been stated to be the Boston Red Sox. Does, say, a 5 yr $75m contract for a 32 yo catcher sound like something Ben Cherington would do?
They can still overpay for Martin and not really take on more risk. It’s not like they are going to offer 25 million a year. The Dodgers could still offer $15-$18 million a year and not consider that much of risk as compared to their total salary.
Unless that total salary is already higher than ownership is comfortable spending.
I’m certainly not suggesting the Dodgers do not have the financial capability to sign Russ Martin. They clearly do. I’m only suggesting that this change in management signals them moving away from the sign-at-all-costs strategy, which seems to be the biggest fear of Pirate fans.
No the fear is that there is ample evidence that Andrew Friedman values pitch framing as much as any GM in baseball – Jose Molina – and that the Dodgers can outbid the Pirates if they are so inclined.
There’s also ample evidence that it doesn’t require overpaying a guy based on unsustainable offensive production to get a catcher that is good at pitch framing.
It is not “overpaying” if you are giving the guy money that you have to perform the skills that you value. Friedman wouldn’t be buying a .290 11 HR and 67 RBI; he’d be buying the 10 to 20 RAA that Martin brings defensively.
I see no reason to pay more than the market dictates.
Living in LA, I can tell you this is spot on. Stan Kasten has been adamant from Day 1 that building the minor league pipeline is the way the Dodgers plan to compete for the next decade, and they practically had to ball gag Ned Coletti to keep him from trading away one of their 3 premium prospects at the trade deadline (two of whom, it should be added, are blocked).
When it comes down to it, the Dodgers will be able to – and likely will – offer the highest AAV, but not necessarily the richest contract in terms of total value.
Well, that sounds like the Dodgers want to be like the Pirates. The difference they have the most lucrative TV contract and the largest payroll capacity. If the market is for Russell Martin is too expensive/risky for the Dodgers, then the same goes for the Pirates, right? If it makes sense for the Pirates to sign the Martin, then it makes sense for the Dodgers to sign him, too. And they can always outbid the Pirates, so it seems like the Pirates need to be praying for a hometown discount from a guy who was drafted by and played the majority of his career with the other team in question.
I wouldn’t say the Dodgers want to be like the Pirates, they just don’t want to be like the Yankees.
Notwithstanding the TV contract – which is already an albatross for Time Warner and likely to be renegotiated in the next 24 months – ownership has a payroll target for this team – they’d like to be able to straddle the line for payroll tax so they don’t have to pay the escalating repeat offender tax rates. So there is a max (190-200), and when you’ve got as much payroll committed in out years as the Dodgers do (they have $170M committed as far out as 2017), staying under that max is no easy feat, considering a lot of that 170M is more or less dead weight and unmovable (Kemp, Crawford & Ethier account for $60M annually).
The Yankees are perennially in the same boat, and when it’s time to make a move they always double down on free agents. McCann, Beltran, Tanaka, Ellsbury. And they still don’t make the playoffs because they’re being dragged down by the previous free agent vintage’s dead weight. Dodger ownership wants to avoid that like the plague, but they kind of put themselves in a box with all the long-term commitments they’ve made. And they knew if they wanted to break that cycle, it was going to take a different mindset at the top.
So you’re the newly hired Andrew Friedman, and maybe you’re not in love with your catcher, who it should be noted until this year has been average-to-above defensively but has never been much at framing. But…
1. You have two greater priorities – to find a starting SS and 5th SP, for which you have no viable internal candidates (at least you do have a serviceable catcher);
2. Signing Martin at $15+M annually is a step backwards with respect to the plan you were hired to execute, whereas Ellis is at least cost controlled; and
3. Somehow despite the poor framing, the Dodgers managed a team ERA of 3.40 (4th in NL), 3.48 FIP (4th in NL) and 3.33 xFIP (1st in NL). Plus they have the highest K rate in the NL. So how much better is an elite framer really going to make them?
I’m not saying the Dodgers won’t be in the market for Martin – they’d be foolish not to, Martin is the best available and they have no real catching prospect in the pipeline – but I am saying it is not a foregone conclusion that they will automatically be the highest bidder just because they have the most money and the head of baseball operations likes catchers who frame well.
Also don’t forget the discipline that Friedman brings to the job makes it less likely that they will offer a 4th (or 5th!) year, so if Martin is going for the most total money, that offer could come from the Pirates, Cubs, or a mystery organization.
All good points. It is fair to say that the market for Martin is almost certainly larger than 2 teams – the Dodgers and the Pirates – so if your point is that “it is not a forgone conclusion that he signs with the Dodgers,” then you will get no argument from me. I guess that the point that I am making is that having a GM who is widely regarded as one of the smartest in baseball, who places a premium on catcher framing, and has inherited a large revenue team with a poor pitch framing catcher severely undermines the Pirates ability to resign their elite pitch framing free agent catcher. Worse it seals the deal that they will not be able to sign him at a number that represents a value. Like you said, the Dodger would be fools not to be in the market, which raises the floor on what a contract could possibly be. In other words, we can be reasonably certain that the market will start at a point where at least two teams are willing to pay for defense/framing.
I would/could contend that SS and 5th SP not necessarily greater priorities and the job Friedman was brought into execute was to build a winning baseball team, and given that he has demonstrated that he believes that an elite defensive/framing catcher is very important part of his blue print (otherwise how can you explain one of the smartest GMs playing a catcher with a sub-300 OBP, but elite framing skill these past 3 years). Moreover, I think the money thing is being overblown. Sure, they might be on a budget; granted they may have a lot of money tied up in current contracts, but I fully expect the Dodgers to start shedding some of those financial obligations- if money is a real constraint, then it seems a forgone conclusion that one of Kemp, Crawford, Ethier is gone. I know that that is easier said than done, but that is why you hire a smart GM to run your baseball team
Right, so no one is arguing that Friedman doesn’t see value in catcher framing. But let’s put these things in context. Friedman went after good-framing catchers because, at the bottom of the catching market (where the Rays have to play due to payroll constraints), he’d rather have a good-framing catcher with no bat and average-to-slightly-below profile on other defensive metrics (blocking, controlling the running game) than some other mixed bag of skills.
We don’t really know what Friedman would do with a big budget, since he’s never had one, but given the budgets he’s had, he certainly didn’t spend much on catching. I think it speaks volumes that, in 10 years at the helm of the Rays, the most he’s ever spent on a catcher is $2M, and that was for the last two years of Dioner Navarro. Could we not just as easily draw the inference that, while Friedman values framing over any other single catching skill, catching seems to be a low priority for him? He might think the entire category is overvalued (or, to put it more kindly, there difference in output between the top and the low middle of the market isn’t worth the difference in price).
That is a perfectly valid inference. I think we can agree that any theory of what Friedman would do with a high payroll is underdetermined by the available evidence, but I think the good points you make might have changed my opininion (Is that allowed on the internet?) I guess we will see what happens.
“…the job Friedman was brought into execute was to build a winning baseball team…”
The Dodgers have won 91 and 94 games the last two years. That is most certainly not why he was brought in.
Andrew Freidman is known not for winning World Series championships, but for building winning teams for less money than anyone else in baseball. I don’t have conversations with Dodgers owners, so I’m speculating as much as you are, but I don’t think his hiring and word that the Dodgers are losing money due to a flawed TV deal are coincidence. They’ll spend money. A lot of it. But I don’t think he’d be there unless they didn’t plan on spending less.
Good conversation, I appreciate it!
Sure, I wasn’t trying to sound a flip is that might seem. I don’t have any inside scoop on the Dodgers ownership either, I was only stating the obvious that the expectation of winning hasn’t changed and he almost certainly didn’t leave one shoestring budget team for an other. I am fairly certain that this indicates that the Dodger don’t want to follow the Yankees down the free agent rabbit hole, but as you note, I wouldn’t take this as a sign that the Dodgers are going to spending like a small market team either.
I agree. Good conversation all around. Cheers!
“If the market is for Russell Martin is too expensive/risky for the Dodgers, then the same goes for the Pirates, right?”
False, because both teams aren’t starting at the same datum.
It is entirely possible that the Pirates, while having a significantly lower overall payroll, have more capacity for addition since they aren’t burdened with hundreds of millions of dollars in existing contracts.
It is possible, but I find it incredibly unlikely that Pirates spend more money in free agency than the Dodgers. I would be shocked. If you disagree with that sentiment, then we have a difference of opinion that can’t not be settled with facts; we’ll just have to wait and see. But assuming that the Pirates have the same amount of money or less than the Dodgers to spend in free agency this off-season, it becomes a question of how the resources allocated. And think there is ample evidence to expect that Friedman would want to acquire an elite pitch framer more than any other tweak to an already good roster. Maybe he does that by trade, but looking at the free agent market, Martin is by far and away the best pitch framer available, and I just don’t see how the Pirates could outbid the Dodgers without it being an albatross.
I guess that is my point. Not that Friedman running the Dodges means that the Pirates can’t sign Martin, but that the Pirates won’t be able to sign him a good value. The undervaluing of catcher defense/framing is a thing of the past, and that is made even more stark now that a GM who places a lot of value on those skill, and who is inheriting a catcher who is not a good pitcher framer, is operating a team that has the resources to pay (above) market rate. The under valuation of pitch framing (which probably didn’t exist anymore anyway) is much less likely there for the Pirates to exploit. Maybe the Pirates will get Martin on a good deal still, but I think the chance of that happening is made far less likely with this news, and I don’t really see how it could be argued otherwise. The best that could be hoped for is that this doesn’t change anything and even that seems exceedingly optimistic in my view.
“The undervaluing of catcher defense/framing is a thing of the past…”
Can you give any examples?
“And think there is ample evidence to expect that Friedman would want to acquire an elite pitch framer more than any other tweak to an already good roster.”
I don’t consider a starting shortstop and at least one starting pitcher “tweaks”. You’re free to disagree.
I appreciate good conversation, though!
Well, “undervalue” might be the wrong word, because compared to things like “power” or “fastball velocity” catcher defense might still represent a value. I might be just seeing faces in the clouds, but I’d offer the following “evidence” 1) Russell Martin will make significantly more money on this contract as opposed to his last; a couple of years ago almost all of the discussion about the Martin signing was about his bat (declining batting average, would the power play at PNC) and pitch framing was a secondary issue if it was mentioned at all; that feels like the opposite of the situation today 2) there has been significant discussion of the added value of catcher defense in the MVP candidacies of Molina and Lucroy the past 2 years 3) it feels like teams are moving away for “bat-only” catchers, Santana/Gomes comes to mind.
As per the Dodgers roster. I think the Dodgers could very well have their middle infielders in Dee Gordon, Alex Guerro and Darwin Barney. And the Pirates and others have shown that you can get value at starting pitcher on the cheap, especially if you aren’t counting on that guy to be your ace.
The Pirates have shown THEY can get value at starting pitcher on the cheap. The ability is not universal.
And the Dodgers may very well be comfortable moving Dee Gordon to shortstop and having Gurerro play 2nd. Absolutely possible. I just thought it was a bit interesting that they prefered to give 283 innings last year to Miguel Rojas rather than move Gordon over.
It’s really going to come down to whether or not they retain Hanley Ramirez. He isn’t much of a shortstop, but the bat still plays and the Dodgers will need a shortstop after Uribe. If they stick with their guys as Magic Johnson spoke about during the Cano pursuit, I can’t see a 2nd major position player acquisition.
I don’t think we’re very far apart in opinion, FWIW.
I certainly don’t think anyone – Pirates included – will be getting Martin at a “good deal”. And completely agree that Friedman values Martin’s skill set.
I’m just skeptical that Friedman will be willing to make Martin a “huge offer” as Tim asked in his question above.
That is fair and it is quite possible that a 3rd team would/could outbid both of them. I guess all I’m saying is that even if we were (for the sake of simplicity) to imagine that the market for Martin only consisted of the Dodgers and the Pirates, then any amount the Pirates would could pay could be matched by the Dodgers if they thought it was a good value. If we believe that Andrew Friedman is good at spotting a “good value” then 1) the Dodger outbid the Pirates, or 2) the Pirates spent more money than a smart GM with greater resources thought was reasonable. I don’t know which of those scenarios is worse, but neither of them are good, and the only good way out of it is to suggest that the Dodgers can’t out bid the Pirates (I am skeptical), or the Friedman isn’t good at spotting a value signing or made a mistake in this case. I think that is our best chance; I don’t like our chances.
I completely agree with both points.
I want Russ Martin resigned because when it comes down to it, I’m a fan. I like him, and it’s not my job to be completely logical.
But even the 4yr/$60m “reasonable” number that keeps getting floated around is loaded with risk, and I have an extremely hard time imagining a smart GM – as we presume Friedman to be – seeing an even bigger contract (plus draft pick) like the 5 yr $75m one Tim mentioned above as “good value”.
You could argue that pitch framing isn’t accurately valued across baseball, so $60-75 million investment in Russell Martin still provided surplus value. And this isn’t like Epstein in Chicago or Luhnow in Houston I think he is expected to win now and might sacrifice some efficiency.
He’s inheriting a 91 win club and will be able to run a payroll near or above $200m. Not sure what Houston and Chicago have to do with this situation.
That is why I said this isn’t like Chicago or Houston, the Dodgers aren’t so concerned about maximizing future value and worrying expenses down the road at this juncture. Looking for the best present upgrade at the lowest cost, I think they may be Martin, though maybe pitch framing isn’t so important with front line starters.
I’m also not so sure that the Dodgers will immediately be able to lower payroll, though Prince Fielder was moved so who really knows.
Not to be snarky, but can you really claim to know what Dodger ownership is concerned with now and in the future? Is that something you’re getting from publicized quotes?
The predominant thought on new Dodgers ownership was that they were willing and able to spend whatever they want because of a TV deal that effectively gave them unlimited financial resources. That has turned out to be wrong, on both counts. That’s fact.
At this point, I think all we really know is that ownership was disappointed enough in how the organization was run to make a change, and the change they made couldn’t be any further from the direction they were headed. The rest is really up in the air.
I think, looking at the Dodgers roster and committed money, much it to solid or not so solid but post-peak players, I just don’t see them restructuring thinking about winning three years from now.
It is great to talk about getting payroll under $200 million and following the Boston’s recent model, but I don’t see a 2012 Dodgers’ team materializing to take some of the 2014 Dodger’s contracts off of their hands. Boston was lauded (not so much now) for finding middle tier free agents and given them high AAV over shorter term.
Where can the Dodgers add cost controlled talent to lineup outside Joc Pederson, who will require moving at a least one aging outfielder, accompanied by a not so small armored truck. Some cost cutting can be gained there and using that cadre of pitchers ranked in their top 10 they can build a cheaper bullpen.
They aren’t trading for Price, they aren’t going to sign Schezer or give out a Shin-Soo Choo like contract. But an older catcher, teams are already wary of long term deals for catcher, that has much of his value come from defense seems like a good target for an immediate upgrade, that could be purchased on a high AVV over a shorter deal.
If it was realistically expected that Russell Martin could be had on a short term, high AAV contract we wouldn’t be having this conversation.
We may have come full circle, I just think that Martin’s contract will be closer to Shane Victorino’s than Shin Soo-Choo’s or Zach Greinkie’s deals.
It is easy to discusses where a team needs the biggest upgrade, but smart teams get better regardless of position. Sure the Dodgers could look address the biggest holes, which S Brooks identifies below, and run Ellis out there, and attempt to get under the luxury tax. However didn’t the Yankees try this once with bad results and where would that leave the Dodgers next year in a bidding war for Wieters?
Dodgers have said to be looking to streamline payroll and make the huge spending splurge a 1 time thing, which would mean keeping a very popular AJ Ellis around. Pitching staff likes him, Kershaw is on record saying he wants the team to have him in their plans and he is cheaper than the only quality alternative on the market. I actually see the Dodgers keeping Ellis and not signing a C this offseason.
I think the structure of the spending splurge, made it a one time thing, the Dodgers have $160 million in payroll guaranteed for 2017.
This isn’t to say that I don’t believe Friedman will target Martin at all, just that I believe his approach to building a team will be a bit more nuanced than identifying the best free agent at a position of need and giving him all the money.
At least we should get a 1st round draft pick. Who would be considered good trade targets?
Hank conger please 🙂
Does have something of that perfect storm feel to it, doesn’t it?
We got pretty spoiled by Martin. In years past the Stewart, Sanchez, Diaz, Paulino, Cabrera lineage from ML-AA would have made us pretty happy.
Sanchez, Paulino and Cabrera at AA really weren’t on the same level as Diaz was this past season.
Any catchers available for trade?
Best catcher in AAA last year was either James McCann (Age 24 – Toledo – Detroit Tigers) or Josh Phegley (Charlotte – Chicago White Sox). Hard to gauge the offensive numbers on the Mexican AAA league (it’s an offense heavy league with short fields).
Both McCann and Phegley saw limited action at the Major League level last year.
The Tigers started Alex Avilia (age 27) and Bryan Holaday (age 26) this year. Neither did much offensively.
The White Sox also have two young guys at catcher – Adrian Nieto (age 24 – Rookie season) and Tyler Flowers (age 28). Flowers had a decent offensive season – .241 AVE, .693 OPS, 15HR, 2.3 WAR (though 159 SO to 25 Walks is a concern).
If the Pirates are looking to trade for a catcher, those two teams are deep at the position.
Sounds like the White Sox are looking to make some moves at the catcher position as well. Phegley and a prospect for Martin trade anyone?
The Yankees and Red Sox just might have one or two available. The Pirates need about a one year bridge to Diaz.