Reason Three: Could free Fisher up to be included in a trade for a catcher.
The future at catcher is up in the air after the 2018 season as Brian McCann, and Evan Gattis will both be free agents. While the Astros could attempt to re-sign McCann, he could be reaching the end of his offensive production. If he hits well in 2018, he could outprice himself from the Astros with the other players they will try to retain.
Gattis has already been told that he will be their primary DH in 2018, not likely to catch too often. This leaves Max Stassi as the backup catcher unless they go out and make a move before spring training starts. Garrett Stubbs is probably the next prospect up, but he may profile as a backup catcher. The Astros are a championship contender. They need a solid catcher for the future.
Other catching options.
We saw how much McCann helped the pitching staff in 2017. They will be looking for a replacement. Now that they have a taste of a quality catcher, they want more. That’s why you see them kicking the tires of Jonathan Lucroy. Like Gonzalez, Lucroy is coming off a down season, but they could be confident in him for the next three seasons.
There have been some mentions of the possibility of the Marlins trading catcher J.T. Realmuto. The Astros are unlikely to be willing to trade Kyle Tucker or Forrest Whitely in any trade. No matter if you agree with the trades Derek Jeter has made, he will need prospects back in return. Fisher would most likely have to headline that deal. Without signing Gonzalez, the front office may not be willing to trade Fisher.
These are a few possible reasons why they may be willing to sign Gonzalez to a one-year deal. He is not a long-term fix, just a domino piece for another move. At this point of the offseason, I could see these deals not happening. Just something to think about. If you ask me, I like Fisher and hopes he sticks around.
***Stats from Baseball-Reference***