Oakland A’s: So the Rays need a catcher
By David Hill
The Tampa Bay Rays are looking for a catcher. The Oakland A’s have several catchers amongst their top prospects. Hmm…
Teams around Major League Baseball covet top catching prospects. The idea of finding an all around talent that can stick behind the plate defensively and provide a solid bat is one that keeps scouts awake at night, especially given the status of catching in the game. It is also an area that the Oakland A’s do not have to worry about.
Even with Sean Murphy having graduated from the A’s top prospects list, and establishing himself as one of the better catchers in the game, the A’s have plenty of talent amongst their minor league backstops. Four of their top 30 prospects are catchers, including 2020 first round pick Tyler Soderstrom, the A’s third ranked prospect.
Meanwhile, there are teams that are seemingly unable to find a catcher. The Tampa Bay Rays are continuing their annual search for a solution behind the plate, as the position has been a black hole throughout their history.
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At the same time, the Rays are possibly putting Blake Snell on the trade block. The Rays ace still has three years left on his extension, with $40.8 million due. While the A’s will trade players once their salary gets to a certain level, Tampa Bay trades everyone; even franchise icon Evan Longoria was sent packing.
Maybe there is a deal to be had. The A’s desperately need a staff ace to take that next step in their postseason aspirations, and Snell could be that arm. The Rays need a catcher, and Oakland has plenty of youth in their system. Jonah Heim is essentially major league ready and has the defensive profile that Tampa Bay likes. He could be of interest.
Obviously, it would take a lot more than Heim, or any of the A’s other catching prospects, to land an arm such as Snell. But Oakland has a solid farm system filled with toolsy players and intriguing arms. Even if Snell is not coming to Oakland, the A’s could pick up a controllable bullpen arm or a middle infielder in exchange for a package involving one of their catching prospects.
The Oakland A’s have plenty of catching prospects in their system. The Tampa Bay Rays are, once again, looking for a catcher. Maybe a deal can be had.