A real backup catcher.
No offense to Max Stassi, but he is penciled in as a backup catcher. Brian McTaggart made an interesting suggestion. He said that Evan Gattis could still be the backup catcher. But they would also carry Stassi as a defensive replacement. That is an interesting concept as Gattis serving as the designated hitter won’t limit his at-bats like last year. It would be similar to the role that Juan Centeno served as in the playoffs.
While this would free Gattis up for more playing time as the DH, it seems like a wasted roster spot. It could work out, but this would limit A.J. Hinch‘s options off the bench with 13 pitchers. Having a player like Marwin Gonzalez helps here. If Gattis were the full-time DH, Stassi as the backup catcher would make sense. It’s really the same thing, after all, just a different spin on it.
Jonathan Lucroy is still on the market coming off a down season. The 31-year-old catcher is two years removed from hitting 24 homers. Last year he batted .265 with six homers between the Rangers and Rockies. He does not appear to be getting the long-term deals that he may want to, so maybe he can sign a one-year deal to rebuild his value. If he bounces back, perhaps he could get a 2-3 year deal with someone next year. Could he sign a one-year contract with the Astros? Yes, but it would make playing time complicated.