On the list of positions that the KC Royals would be likely to look at, catcher would not seem likely to be on the list. The Royals have a Gold Glove winning, All-Star caliber young star in Salvador Perez behind the plate, and Erik Kratz can be useful in limited action. Catcher just does not seem to be a position of need.
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Yet, according to Jon Heyman, it seems that the KC Royals may be interested in an upgrade, at least when it comes to the backup behind Perez. Perhaps this is simply nothing more than Dayton Moore doing his due diligence, but the Royals are one of the six teams that have been linked to Jarrod Saltalamacchia, who the Marlins recently designated for assignment.
The concept that Saltalamacchia would be on the Royals radar is certainly interesting. There is no questioning that he would be another power bat off the bench, as Saltalamacchia had 66 home runs from 2011 through 2014. While his career .240/.310/.415 batting line is slightly below average, as Saltalamacchia has a career 93 OPS+, that is still relatively solid for a catcher. He would certainly seem to be an upgrade over Kratz, who has a career .218/.271/.401 batting line and an 83 OPS+.
While this would be a slight upgrade offensively, just looking at their career numbers, Kratz is far better defensively. While Jarrod Saltalamacchia may have trouble throwing out Kendrys Morales, Kratz has a career 31% caught stealing rate. Likewise, Kratz, in his limited playing time, has been saved eight runs defensively. Saltalamacchia, meanwhile, has cost his teams thirty runs.
Then there is the cost involved. Not only would the KC Royals need to give up some sort of asset, but Saltalamacchia is in the middle of a three year, $21 Million contract, with $8 Million due next season. Even if the Marlins are willing to eat most of that deal, is it worth the Royals bringing in what would be a minor upgrade offensively at a position they barely use?
It is interesting to think about Jarrod Saltalamacchia joining the KC Royals to be Salvador Perez’ new backup, but he just does not seem to be a fit. Hopefully, this is just Moore doing his due diligence and not a sign of anything more.