Trade Target #2: C Salvador Perez
Everyone has naturally linked the Astros to J.T. Realmuto of the Marlins for quite some time. And it still makes sense. But if Realmuto is traded elsewhere or stays in Miami, general manager Jeff Luhnow and his front office ought to have a contingency plan: Enter Salvador Perez of the Royals.
Yes, I know that Perez isn’t a realistic solution for Houston, because the Royals aren’t likely to trade him in the first place. While Kansas City is in the beginning stages of a rebuild, the club seems intent on keeping Perez around. But in the case they do decide to trade their long-time catcher, the Astros are a team that ought to enter the fray.
2018 stats: .235/.274/.439, 27 HR, 80 RBI, 3.1% BB%, 19.9% K%, 89 wRC+
Known as a hitter who doesn’t walk much, Perez still provides plenty of power in the lineup. Roughly a league-average hitter for most of his career, he would fulfill a need on the Astros’ roster. Although Perez is a respected catcher around, the advanced catcher metrics do not view so favorably. But there is more to catching than pitch framing numbers as the position requires syncing well with the pitching staff. Then there is the close relationship between him and Jose Altuve to consider.
Unfortunately, I am not sure if Perez is a realistic trade target this offseason. It is clear that the Royals are rebuilding for the future, which makes keeping a 28-year old catcher with a bit of an injury history around perplexing. But Kansas City was trying to resign veteran first baseman Eric Hosmer last offseason, which isn’t something a club does at the start of the rebuild.