Another Day, Another Rumor: Dodgers Reportedly Interested in Matt Treanor

Ken Gurnick at Dodgers.com:

The Dodgers’ search for a veteran catcher apparently has turned to Matt Treanor, who split time between the Royals and Rangers in 2011, according to a baseball source.

The Dodgers are looking for a replacement for Rod Barajas, who last week signed a $4 million deal with the Pirates. The Dodgers had inquired about free agent Ryan Doumit but didn’t make an offer after hearing his asking price.

Treanor, who will be 36 in March, is a defense-oriented catcher who would serve as a veteran backstop, as well as a mentor, to second-year catcher A.J. Ellis and rookie Tim Federowicz.

As if the Matt Kemp and Mark Ellis news from the last two days wasn’t enough, the Dodgers keep pushing forward in what was otherwise expected to be a quiet baseball offseason. I suppose we should enjoy this now, because at this rate, there’s not going to be a single player move between Thanksgiving and Valentine’s Day. (Sidenote: fun to see that Gurnick completely debunks the idea that the Dodgers had ever offered Ryan Doumit a contract, isn’t it? Though I did caveat the hell out of the Doumit post because it was from “a source”, it’s another good reminder that 90% of what we hear this time of year is absolutely made up. Then again, since Gurnick is quoting “a source” here, let’s take the Treanor idea with the same grain of salt.)

Treanor’s exactly the kind of guy I’ve expected the Dodgers would be in on behind the plate, that is, a dues-paying member of the International Brotherhood of Backup Catchers. He’s played for four teams over the last four years (including two stints in Texas), and as expected, he can’t hit even a little: a career .225/.315/.307 line.

In the comments of dodgers.com and the few other places I’ve seen it mentioned, the reaction has been overwhelmingly negative from the fans who cared enough to discuss it, mainly focusing on how Treanor will be 36 next year and provides no offense, with a bit of “Colletti gonna Colletti” thrown in. I have to say, I can’t really see the uproar here, because the alternatives are slim. Just look at the MLBTR list of free agent catchers, won’t you? Are you really dying for Jason Varitek, Gerald Laird, or Ivan Rodriguez? You could possibly argue for Chris Snyder, but he made $5.2m and $6.2m the last two years and is unlikely to accept a massive paycut. It’s not the same scenario as when we were against Dioner Navarro last year, because in that case Ellis seemed to be an immediately superior internal option; unless you’re one of the very few who think Federowicz is ready now, someone’s going to have to come in from the outside.

If anything, this might further indicate that the Dodgers are willing to give Ellis a shot as the primary option in a job share, which is great. So maybe it’s Treanor, maybe it’s Brian Schneider, maybe it’s Jose Molina (probably my choice because of his defense)… and maybe it’s not really going to matter. As long as it’s $1m or less, choosing between half a dozen guys who essentially provide the same value isn’t really worth getting up in arms over. It’s probably even money that whomever it is gets DFA’d two-thirds of the way through the season for Federowicz, anyway.

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  1. [...] now snapped up Mark Ellis, have agreed in principle to an extension for Matt Kemp, and are getting close to adding catcher Matt Treanor. Yet they’re not done yet, because they still need at least [...]

  2. [...] and I’m sure you don’t, the news that the Dodgers had signed Matt Treanor last winter was met with a solid “meh”: In the comments of dodgers.com and the few other places I’ve seen it mentioned, the reaction has [...]