At this point, it seems more than likely that the Houston Astros will move at least one, if not two, of the catchers on their 40 man roster. Naturally, those talks have focused on Jason Castro, as the former All-Star may bring in the highest return for a team looking to take the next step in their rebuild. After all, the Astros just traded for Hank Conger and Max Stassi, despite his injury history, is still considered a solid prospect.
One name that has not been mentioned as a possible trade candidate is backup catcher Carlos Corporan. Perhaps this is due to the idea that backup catchers with a bit of pop can be found virtually anywhere. It seems as though there are always several players of that caliber available in free agency, so why trade for one?
In this case, that logic does not apply. Corporan has generated interest on the trade front, with the Detroit Tigers checking in on his availability. Although the Tigers did pick up Alex Avila‘s option for 2015, he has not been the same player since his breakout performance in 2011. With there being very few starting catchers available in free agency, especially now that Russell Martin is off the market, it may be that the Tigers are looking to cash in on Avila. Should that be the case, a player such as Corporan may be the perfect backup for either Bryan Holaday or James McCann.
Carlos Corporan is not going to be a team’s long term answer as a starter. After all, throughout his career, he has posted a .226/.286/.350 batting line. Corporan has, however, has belted 17 home runs in his 594 career at bats. Even though he is not one to conjure images of Mike Piazza, Corporan will not embarrass himself at the plate either.
Should a team like the Tigers, who have several holes they need to fill, decide to cuts costs elsewhere by starting a young catcher, Corporan could be the perfect backup. He likely would not bring much back in trade; however, given the Astros logjam at catcher, this would seem to be the time to move a player like Corporan for other pieces that could help.
Carlos Corporan may be a replaceable piece on the Astros, but he still has value on the trade market. It would be interesting to see what a team desperate for catching help would trade for his services.