Catcher would seemingly be one of the last areas that the Oakland A’s would be looking to upgrade. Sean Murphy has been solid, even if his batting average is lagging, as he is providing power and decent enough defense. While the A’s could use another option at backup catcher, that would not seem to be a pressing need.
However, that will not stop the A’s from looking at possible upgrades. According to reports, they are one of the teams checking in on Nationals’ catcher Yan Gomes.
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A’s backup catchers have not exactly fared well. Aramis Garcia has seen the bulk of that action, posting a .205/.239/.318 batting line in his 94 plate appearances, hitting three homers and a double. While he has done a solid job behind the plate, throwing out 33% of would-be basestealers, the A’s are still looking for more production at the position.
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Gomes would certainly be an upgrade over Garcia. He has posted a solid .271/.323/.454 batting line in his 235 plate appearances, hitting nine homers and 11 doubles. He has been excellent defensively as well, throwing out 36% of would-be basestealers while saving five runs behind the plate.
There would be other intangible benefits to adding Gomes as well. While Murphy had been considered a potential future Gold Glove winner at catcher, his defense has yet to develop to that point. He has a strong throwing arm, but has struggled to nab baserunners. Gomes would be able to be that veteran mentor that can help teach him the finer aspects of the game.
Murphy really has not had that during his time in the majors. The A’s had gone with youth at the position, looking to save as much money as possible. However, having that veteran mentor can make a tremendous difference, especially at the catcher spot. Gomes could have immediate benefits, both this year and in the future.
The Oakland A’s are reportedly interested in Yan Gomes. While he may not seem like a piece they need, his presence could make a major difference.