San Francisco Giants 2018 Free Agency Preview: Five Catchers to Target
If defense is where the Giants turn, Maldonado is not the only option. Jeff Mathis is another free agent catcher who’s defense is what has kept him in the major leagues.
Mathis, who made his major league debut in 2005, is a 35 year old catcher who can still call a game and work with a pitching staff as well as anyone in the game.
That skill set has been clearly valued by the Giants management for years, even before Posey when Bengie Molina was behind the plate.
Mathis slashline is even worse than Maldonado’s, at .200/.272/.272 for an OPS of .544.
However, if the Giants can’t replace Posey with someone who can hit, the least they should do is look for a catcher who can catch.
That is something Mathis has always done. With rookies Dereck Rodriguez and Andrew Suarez expected to be a big part of the rotation once again in 2019 and with a front office who may look to get much younger where they can over the next few seasons, it is imperative that they have a catcher who can play defense.
Mathis made $2 million last season and a one year deal at a similar price would make sense. It would be highly doubtful that he would be asked to be the everyday catcher, but in a platoon role, his defense will certainly help the Giants.
Other free agents that will be available include Robinson Chirinos, A.J. Ellis, Devin Mesoraco, Wilson Ramos, Kurt Suzuki and Stephen Vogt.