Should the KC Royals call some old friends for help?

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(Photo by Reed Hoffmann/Getty Images) /
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KC Royals
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If the KC Royals want another backup catcher, a popular one is available.

Kansas City is well-stocked behind the plate, where Salvador Perez reigns supreme, Cam Gallagher is a certainly adequate defensive backup, and new minor league superstar MJ Melendez, who between Double and Triple-A this season hammered 41 home runs with 103 RBIs and a .288/.386/.625 line.

That doesn’t mean, though, that the catching situation is uncomplicated. Gallagher calls an excellent game, but his offense (.243 career average) could be a bit better, and Melendez’s strong bat means he needs an everyday position to play, something he won’t get as long as Kansas City views him as primarily a catcher. That alone should disqualify him as a third backup to Perez—the Royals must find somewhere for him, or package him in a trade for current big league help.

A popular former Royal could step in if the KC brain trust decides the club needs another backup. Drew Butera served capably in that role from 2015 until August 2018 when they dealt him to Colorado for Jerry Vasto. He’s made a solid career out of backing up starting catchers.

Butera’s strength is behind the plate, not at it, although he hit .285 in 55 games for the Royals in 2016.

Should Picollo get in touch with Butera? Probably not. His career .196 average is well below Gallagher’s, and at 38 he’s 10 years older than Gallagher. Picollo needs to leave well enough alone.