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Winter Meetings 2019: What we know about the Rockies search for a catcher so far

Patrick Lyons Avatar
December 11, 2019

SAN DIEGO, CA – Over the past 48 hours, General Manager Jeff Bridich has met with a small contingency of media several times to discuss the goals of the 2019 Winter Meetings and 2020 on-field expectations for the Colorado Rockies.

The biggest priority is securing a catcher to pair with the ever-improving Tony Wolters, who continues to make strides offensively and has shown defensive abilities on par with some of the best in the game. Though several candidates have emerged at the moment and several more remain potential replacements for Chris Iannetta, Colorado may take a wait-and-see approach in regards to the markets of those atop their wishlist.

“We are continuing that process,” Bridich said of filling the final catcher’s spot. “We were involved in the Stephen Vogt operation. It didn’t go our way. So, there are very much present and continuing efforts towards that on both fronts, free agency and trade.”

Speculation about the Rockies targeting a right-handed hitter to compliment the left-handed hitting Wolters is not entirely accurate, especially when considering Vogt bats from the left side. The modus operandi for finding the right fit: defensive abilities and pitcher care. 

“The left-right thing is a natural thing to talk about in terms of the offense. We need catchers who are dedicated to the pitch care, care of the pitchers,” Bridich continued. “It’s one of the reasons we brought back Chris Iannetta. He had experience at Coors Field…. (We need catchers) in-tuned and willing to devote themselves to that. That’s high on the list. That’s where we try to thread that needle of defensive abilities and interest in a brain that works back there and offensive potential.”

With Stephen Strasburg and Gerrit Cole off the market and the several other notable free agents finding homes much quicker than the past two offseasons, the timetable for when we might see Colorado complete their mission is unclear.

“Each year is different (for teams signing free agents at the Winter Meetings). And each year is different for us too, regardless of what is happening in the industry. A number of years ago, we were motivated to do a couple things, but we didn’t sign Greg Holland until closer to Christmas time. Each year takes on its own pace,” Bridich concluded.

With the 40-man roster at capacity, any acquisition of a catcher will require a corresponding roster move, leading to further restructuring of which players we’ll see in purple pinstripes for 2020.

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