It is being reported by Jon Morosi of Fox Sports that the Detroit Tigers and Houston Astros have been in preliminary talks about the Astros’ catching surplus.
Right now, the Tigers have Alex Avila as their starting catcher, and 27-year old Bryan Holaday as their backup, according to their depth chart. The Tigers have exercised Avila’s $5.4M option this offseason, making him a candidate that could be flipped for a return if the Tigers acquire another starting catcher.
The other option that the Tigers could be considering is improving their backup backstop via the trade, hence the talks with the Astros. Avila has a history of concussions, and it would be wise for the Tigers to come up with a backup plan if the 27-year old Avila has to miss significant time with another occurrence.
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As Jon Morosi stated, the Astros are willing to trade any of their three major league catchers. Of the three, Jason Castro, rightfully so, being the one that has the highest asking price.
If a trade is going to get done, I suspect that it will be for either Hank Conger or Carlos Corporan, whose asking prices are lower. The Tigers major league club is full of players that they will be hard-pressed to let go of for a backup catcher, however. Their minor league system ranks #30 in baseball (according to Bleacher Report), but there could be an option or two to pick from there as well.
Another option involves a different team entirely. Toronto Blue Jays (now backup) catcher Dioner Navarro, is seeking to be traded after the Jays signed Russell Martin earlier this week. If the Jays decide to grant Navarro his wish, the Astros could find themselves in negotiations with Toronto, who has younger, more affordable talent than Detroit, in addition to a farm system that is bursting with major league ready talent.
Hold off on a trade with the Tigers, and wait to see what the Blue Jays are doing with Navarro. As all Astros fans know, patience is all a part of the process.