The Blue Jays have an enviable crop of talented catchers and are expected to use one of them in a trade this offseason, reports Jon Morosi of MLB Network.
It’s been speculated for quite some time that the Blue Jays will have to move on from a catcher eventually, given their various options. Danny Jansen, Alejandro Kirk and Gabriel Moreno are all MLB-caliber backstops with varying degrees of experience. Since most teams are lucky to even have one good catcher, let alone three, it’s fairly logical to think they might consider dealing one of them to address another part of the roster. Last offseason, Toronto’s catching mix came up often in offseason chatter and it has only gotten more crowded since then.
Despite the numbers of options available, there were good reasons they didn’t pull the trigger on a deal a year ago. At the end of 2021, Gabriel Moreno was considered one of the top prospects in baseball but only had three Triple-A games on his résumé. Alejandro Kirk had an exciting debut in 2020 but was limited by injury to just 60 games in 2021. Danny Jansen, the longest-tenured of the bunch, also missed significant time in 2021, only getting into 70 contests. Given there was some uncertainty with each of their three choices, it made sense to take a wait-and-see approach.
Here in 2022, Moreno added 62 more Triple-A games, hitting .315/.386/.420 for a wRC+ of 120. He also got into 25 big league contests and produced a .319/.356/.377 line with a 113 wRC+ while looking strong on defense, including throwing out 7 of 17 attempted base stealers. Kirk stayed off the IL and got into 139 games. In that time, he hit .285/.372/.415 for a wRC+ of 129 while also posting 9 Defensive Runs Saved and a 7.6 from the FanGraphs framing metric. Jansen still dealt with injuries and only got into 72 games, though he hit a tremendous 15 home runs in that time and slashed .260/.339/.516 for a wRC+ of 140. His defensive marks were also generally strong, allowing him to post 2.6 fWAR despite playing less than half of the team’s games.
If the Jays felt they had enough catching to consider a trade a year ago, the circumstances have only pushed them further towards that conclusion since then. The only question will be which of the group to move on from. Jansen got a cup of coffee in 2018 but established himself as a regular in 2019 by getting into 107 games. His bat was below average but he provided 12 DRS and earned an 8.1 from the FanGraphs framing metric. His bat has…