KC Royals: Making the case, Nationals free agents

(Mandatory Credit: Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports)
(Mandatory Credit: Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports) /
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KC Royals
(Photo by Mitchell Layton/Getty Images) /

The KC Royals have three good defensive catchers, but an offensive upgrade to the backup position couldn’t hurt.

When it comes to defense behind the plate, Kansas City has nothing to complain about. Salvador Perez is a five-time Gold Glove winner and established reserves Cam Gallagher and Meibrys Viloria are adequate defenders.

The story isn’t quite the same offensively, however. Although Perez’s bat speaks for itself, Gallagher’s (.241/.308/.368 with six home runs in 105 games) and Viloria’s (.215/.266/.287 with one homer in 67 games) leave a bit to be desired.

Among Washington free agents is a catcher who could help.

Kurt Suzuki, whose 14-season career slash of .259/.316/.392 is somewhat better than Gallagher’s and far better than Viloria’s, is an established backstop whose savvy could complement Perez’s and help the KC Royals’ young starters and relievers.

But Suzuki, who caught half the Nationals’ games in 2020 and 75 the season before, is probably seeking more playing time than Kansas City can provide, and Washington appears ready to give Yan Gomes most of its games behind the plate. And Ken Rosenthal suggests in The Athletic (subscription required) that Suzuki may have drawn the Angels’ eye. The Royals, then, seem an unlikely fit for Suzuki.

(Welington Castillo, with 10 seasons as an adequate big league catcher, might have been a consideration until he reportedly signed a minor league deal to return to Washington last week).