Sign Victor Caratini
The catcher spot was an area of contention during the 2023 season. Houston had a really strong young catcher on the roster in Yainer Diaz, but the bulk of the playing time still went to veteran Martin Maldonado. Maldy was a great defensive catcher for a long time, so the Astros' affection for him is understandable. However, his decline was VERY rapid last season and unfortunately, Dusty Baker just could not quit him no matter what the eye test and numbers said.
Now that Maldonado is a free agent and Diaz has officially been declared as the primary catcher going forward, Houston needs a new backup catcher. One name that stands out as a particularly strong option is Victor Caratini.
Caratini's bat has kept him from winning a primary roster spot, but he has been pretty much the perfect back-up catcher during his career. His career .236 batting average certainly leaves something to be desired especially given his lack of power, but he knows how to draw walks and he grades out well as a game-caller and as a defensive catcher. For a backup, that is all anyone can ask for.
Caratini's experience behind the plate would not only give Houston some insurance in the event that Diaz struggles, but would give Houston the mentor for Yainer that they have been looking for without sacrificing too much production. Bringing in Caratini would also mean that the Astros SHOULDN'T be able to bring back Maldonado. Seriously, why can't they quit that guy.