As the rebuilding process takes shape over on Crawford street, Jeff Luhnow will have some very interesting decision to make. One such choice will be the backup catching position. With a healthy Jason Castro, the choice might be a lot easier but healthy and Castro don’t seem to go together very often. Jon Heyman sent out a tweet yesterday claiming the Astros were looking to possibly move Humberto Quintero and acquire Pudge Rodriguez. Now the Pudge part of the tweet doesn’t sound like a Luhnow or rebuilding type move but moving Quintero does makes sense. Could the Astros receive anything of value in return for Q or is it more likely to be a straight salary dump?
Quintero is a fan favorite, primarily for the great defensive plays he has made during his time in Houston. Many fans seem to forgive his poor offensive play because he is such a strong defender. The reality is that Humberto is a backup catcher at best and too often his defense is overrated. He has had to fill in as a starting catcher way too often over the past year and his numbers eventually show it. The other issue that has arisen is his contract, after accepting a 1 million dollar deal this offseason, Quintero has become expensive for a backup. While Humberto may very well be worth it, again, he is a backup catcher and those don’t get paid 1 million dollars, especially on a rebuilding squad.
While Pudge Rodriguez is a name and certainly able to play the role of a backup catcher and mentor along with having history with the Astros, he doesn’t fit what the Astros are building towards. At this point a cheaper and younger option may be more in order as that would fit the rebuilding profile a bit more. Luhnow shocked more than a few fans last week by trading Mark Melancon to plug two holes on the club so trading Quintero certainly makes sense. How Luhnow figures to reshape the club will be key and I’m not so sure adding a well past his prime catcher is in his grand scheme. I would rather, and almost expect to, see Luhnow sign Chris Snyder or trade for a young alternative to Castro. Jason is still the catcher of the future but he was drafted by Ed Wade not Jeff Luhnow and adding some competition certainly wouldn’t hurt the club.