Kansas City Royals rumors around major league baseball suggest the team is looking to make a deal for a backup catcher, according to Boston Globe reporter Nick Cafardo. The KC Royals have until August 31 to acquire players from outside the organization that will be eligible for the playoffs.
Nick Cafardo hears that the Kansas City Royals would prefer a left-handed backstop to compliment Salvador Perez, but have turned down a deal for the Atlanta Braves catcher A.J. Pierzynski. According to Cafardo, some scouts in the KC Royals organization like Boston back-up Ryan Hanigan, even though he is a right-handed batter (one would guess Cafardo heard the rumors because Kansas City inquired with the Red Sox about Hanigan’s availability).
Cafardo indicates that the KC Royals front office wants to add to their catcher depth in case Perez suffers an injury. What he does not say is if Kansas City Royals general manager Dayton Moore is unhappy with current reserve catcher Drew Butera, or if he doesn’t like his organizational options in case the heavily-used Salvador Perez suffers an injury after September 1.
Dayton Moore would not necessarily have to put such a player on the active roster. If injury is the primary concern, Moore could stash such a veteran bat at AAA Omaha and add him to the playoff roster if Perez has to go to the disabled list. Not only would a left-handed catcher compliment Salvador Perez (who hits right handed), he could also form a platoon with the offensively-challenged Drew Butera if Perez suffers an injury.
Apparently, the KC Royals front office is concerned about Salvador Perez’s heavy workload the last three seasons. Salvador Perez caught 126 games in 2013, a league-high 143 games in 2014 (plus 15 more in the playoffs), and 110 with one month to go in 2015.
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While taking precautions against Salvador Perez breaking down seems realistic, I can’t help but think the Kansas City Royals would have been better served to address this issue BEFORE the season. That way, perhaps Perez could have gotten more rest if the team felt better about his backup.
Obviously, if Dayton Moore is to address this issue, he must make a deal before the midnight (Eastern Standard Time) September 1 deadline. That leaves him a little more than 24 hours to pull off a trade. Otherwise, the Kansas City Royals will have to make do with players already in the organization to replace Salvador Perez in case of an injury.