It really sounds like an old school Sierra title for the PC, doesn’t it? There was a time in my life when I was spending countless hours each day playing anything with a ‘Quest’ in the title; Kings Quest, Space Quest*, Police Quest, you name it, I probably played it. But, I digress from my basement ramblings, the Giants are still looking for help at catcher.
* A brief aside, you’ll never convince me that there was a better series of games than Sierra’s Space Quest series. I’m probably dating myself, but man, those games ruled.
There’s an interesting article online today from CBSSports’ Danny Kobler.
Here’s the pertinent quote:
Yorvit Torrealba is the Rangers’ starter behind the plate, and Napoli was his backup. With Napoli out, the Rangers have called up Taylor Teagarden, who has big-league experience and was hitting .326 with nine home runs in 24 games at Triple-A Round Rock. Teagarden is only a .216 hitter in 107 career games in the big leagues, but remember, there’s very little catching available and the Giants need help.
Torrealba or Teagarden could be trade candidates from Texas. Yorvit would be interesting, mostly because he started his career with the Giants and left on not-so-great terms. He’s earning $3M in 2011 and $3.25M in 2012. He’s in his age 32 season and he’s currently hitting .253/.283/.362 for the Rangers. That works out to a 74 OPS+ and a 71 wRC+. In 2010, while playing for the Padres, Yorvit had a nice year. He tied his career high for wRC+ (103) and he was worth 2.6 wins above replacement by FanGraphs’ WAR. It was Yorvit’s best fWAR season to date. The defensive metrics say he’s average defensively (maybe a tick above), he’s an average baserunner for his career, and he’s been a ‘pretty good hitter’ for a catcher with a career 81 wRC+.
ZiPS has Torrealba at a .306 wOBA over the remainder of the season. That exceeds both Whiteside (.282) and Stewart (.296) by pretty good margins. It’s possible a deal could be worked out with the Rangers; both organizations are familiar with each other sine they swapped Molina for Chris Ray and Michael Main last year. There should be some residual familiarity there.
At 27-years-old, Teagarden is a tarnished catching prospect that has yet to live up to some of his minor league seasons. Pre-2008 he was ranked as the 80th best prospect in baseball by Baseball America, pre-2009 the 73rd best. Teagarden has had some monster years in the minors (career .873 OPS). However, his major league resume is less impressive. I can’t imagine the Giants picking up a player like Teagarden. He’s less established than Torrealba. And even though Teagarden has a higher upside, the Giants generally prefer major league results to what-could-be prospects. When was the last time the Giants traded for a stalled prospect?
From the Giants’ view, Torrealba fits pretty well. He’s an upgrade on offense and his defense looks average(ish). A couple of weeks ago I shot down the idea of trading for Pudge — stating that Whiteside was an equivalent player. After watching Whiteside/Stewart play for a couple of weeks, I think the Giants have to make an upgrade, of any sort, at catcher. Torrealba isn’t a huge upgrade, he’s probably a one-win player, give or take a half-win, over the rest of the season. That’s not a homerun upgrade, but it’s a steady replacement. And that’s what the Giants need more than anything right now.