Goatriders of the Apocalypse

Looking for a Backup Catcher?

I think the Cubs should consider signing free agent C Javier Valentin.  He is a solid switch hitting veteran catcher, and most teams are chasing the big prizes in the market right now.  It would be a quiet move, but it would be a good move that addresses several team needs.  Valentin is a professional hitter that can pound the ball when he plays, which would allow the cubs to rest Geo more throughout the season so that he can can be more productive and healthier down the stretch.  Also by pursuing him now the cubs would have very little competition, with the exception of the Reds, who just acquired Ramon Hernandez to be their everyday catcher.  So the cubs would be offering him the same role except on a contending team.  He likely could be had for a modest price, somewhere in the neighborhood of $1-$1.5M on a 1-2 year deal.  So by swapping Valentin for Blanco the team gets a younger, cheaper player at the position, who is also a switch hitter.

I agree with this

Valentin is a quality bat, and is actually a pretty accomplished pinch hitter as well. (at least that is my impression...I don't have any numbers ot back that up really)

Valentin gives you some roster flexibility, in that he has played some first base as well. In fact, I think a case could be made that you MIGHT construct your roster in such a way that you keep a Koyie Hill AND Javier Valentin, just so you can freely use Valentin whenever you want to pinch hit. In this case, he becomes more of a replacement for Ward than anyone else, with the added benefit of being able to catch.

Or, you could just keep his a backup catcher, only carry 2 traditional catchers, and give him about 30-40 starts or so, plus another few at first base.

Valentin isn't a particularly good defensive catcher though.....we'd probably lose just a bit with him versus what we've had back there in the past.

I also like the idea of having a spanish speaking catcher on the squad, with so many spanish speaking pitchers. I think that is a small but not unimportant thing.


Chicago Tribune's Chicago's Best Blogs award