Pittsburgh Pirates: Three Catchers to Target

TORONTO, ON - SEPTEMBER 03: Yan Gomes #23 of the Oakland Athletics throws the ball during a MLB game against the Toronto Blue Jays at Rogers Centre on September 3, 2021 in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. (Photo by Vaughn Ridley/Getty Images)
TORONTO, ON - SEPTEMBER 03: Yan Gomes #23 of the Oakland Athletics throws the ball during a MLB game against the Toronto Blue Jays at Rogers Centre on September 3, 2021 in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. (Photo by Vaughn Ridley/Getty Images) /
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Pittsburgh Pirates
NEW YORK, NY – SEPTEMBER 17: Roberto Perez #55 of the Cleveland Indians reacts against the New York Yankees during the second inning at Yankee Stadium on September 17, 2021 in New York City. (Photo by Adam Hunger/Getty Images) /

Now that the Pittsburgh Pirates are in need of a catcher for the 2022 season here are three backstops that they could target to replace Jacob Stallings

Monday was a busy day for the Pittsburgh Pirates. Among the moves the team made the biggest was trading 2021 National League Gold Glove Award winning catcher Jacob Stallings to the Miami Marlins in exchange for pitcher Zach Thompson and a pair of prospects.

The Pittsburgh Pirates may have already been in the market for catching help to add a backup to pair with Stallings. Now that Stallings is headed to Miami, the Pirates will need to find a new catching starter for the 2022 season. These three free agent catchers could all make sense for the Bucs.

Roberto Perez

Roberto Perez spent the first 8 seasons of his MLB career in Cleveland. Perez, like Stallings, is a Gold Glove Award winner, having taken home the honors in the American League in both 2019 and 2020. A few weeks ago we discussed Perez as a potential backup to Stallings, but now he could earn an even bigger role if he were to become a Pirate.

Offensively, Perez has struggled mightily the best two seasons posting a wRC+ of 39 in 2020 and in 2021 this number rose to just 56. His lifetime wRC+ is just 76, to go with a career OPS of .657. However, he does a good job of getting on-base as evident by his lifetime walk rate of 10.8%.

As evident by his two Gold Glove Awards what Perez is known for is his defense. He has a +76 Defensive Runs Saved in his career, is a strong pitch framer and would be a catcher who could be a good resource/rock to lean on for young Pirate pitchers.

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