Humberto Quintero made his Spring Training debut yesterday and the Kansas City Royals were there to scout the veteran backstop. The Royals were counting on rookie Salvador Perez to be their starting catcher this season but Perez will out three months following knee surgery last Friday. Brayan Pena is next on the Royals depth chart behind the plate, but the 30 year-old has appeared in only 186 big league games at the position. The Royals are looking for an experienced catcher to handle their young pitching staff until Perez returns. Other names that have been mentioned in Kansas City are Free Agents Ivan Rodriguez and Ramon Castro.
Quintero, who is recovering from a bulging disk in his lower back, caught five innings in yesterday’s game against the Mets. “Q” spent most of last week catching bullpen sessions working his way back from the injury and appears to be healthy. It is unknown if the Royals were impressed with Quintero and whether or not they will continue to scout him. “Q” could become a valuable trade chip for Houston if he is indeed healthy. His one-year $1 million contract will be quite attractive to clubs like the Royals who find themselves in need of an experienced signal caller.
The Phillies are another team that may have some interest in Quintero. They are looking for an upgrade for Brian Schneider to back up Carlos Ruiz. The Rays could also use catching help and Quintero should fit within their budget. With Jason Castro and Chris Snyder playing at full strength, I would imagine Jeff Luhnow is actively shopping Humberto to G.M.s around the league.