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Veteran Catcher Signings

A few smaller deals have happened that haven't really been touched on yet, so let's take a look at them here.

Mets Sign Henry Blanco

The Mets added Blanco, 38, on a one-year, $1.5M deal last week, adding a veteran backstop to their roster to join other candidates Omir Santos and Josh Thole. Blanco is more likely to fill a back-up role in New York, as the team has showed interest in bigger names such as Bengie Molina and Rod Barajas, and Blanco has never had more than 357 plate appearances in a season. In the past two years he's posted wOBA marks of .310 and .314 with the Padres and the Cubs, and while his numbers have fluctuated in different aspects, he's been good for a wOBA around that range in his last three healthy seasons. He's regarded as a solid defender and a pretty good clubhouse presence, so it should be a solid addition for a team that could use some stability at the position with the departure of Brian Schneider to Philadelphia.

Brewers Sign Gregg Zaun

In another signing of a veteran catcher, the Brewers added Gregg Zaun to at least temporarily man the position everyday, until one of their top prospects, Angel Salome or Jonathan Lucroy, emerges as ready. Zaun, 39 in April, took $1.9M for 2010 plus a $2.25M club option for 2011 with a 250K buyout. Zaun was probably one of the more underrated players on the market, considering that he's one of the more solid catchers in the game. He's regarded as a solid defender and statistically he was rated as the best blocker of balls in the game, and he's posted a wOBA over .316 and an OBP over .340 in each of the past six seasons, during which time he's been approximately a league average hitter. In spite of this value, Zaun has been worth 1.2-2.5 WAR in each of the past six seasons, easily worth more than the $2.1M that Milwaukee guaranteed him, making this a very solid deal for Melvin and company.

Phillies Sign Brian Schneider

The hole that Blanco fills in New York was created by Schneider's departure to Philadelphia on a two-year, $2.75M to become Carlos Ruiz's back-up. The Phillies needed a back-up after trading Chris Coste and prospect Lou Marson in separate deals during the 2009 season. Schneider, 33, is regarded as an above-average defender behind the plate, but he's also routinely been a very poor hitter, posting a wOBA over .300 just once in the past four seasons. He does a solid job of working the count and getting walks, but he's not good at making contact and much of the power that he had early in his career with Montreal/Washington has been sapped by age. Considering Schneider's defensive ability, on-base skills, and relatively low price tag, it's a solid signing for the Phillies, who should have their catching situation shored up by the Ruiz/Schneider tandem going forward.