Bryan Holaday
Bryan Holaday: Non-tendered by Red Sox
Bryan Holaday, C, BOS
12/2/2016
News: Holaday was non-tendered by the Red Sox on Friday and is now a free agent.

Sandy Leon and Christian Vazquez are the clear top two catchers for the Red Sox, and Blake Swihart still lingers as a potential wild card, so there was no reason for Boston to pay Holaday in arbitration or allow him to occupy a 40-man roster spot. He has a career 69 wRC+ and all of his value is tied up in his defense. Look for him to catch on with another team, perhaps on a minor league deal, to serve as organizational catching depth.

Analysis: 

Erik Kratz
Indians' Erik Kratz: Heading to Cleveland on NRI deal
Erik Kratz, C, CLE
12/1/2016
News: Kratz signed a minor league contract with the Indians on Thursday that includes an invitation to spring training, Jordan Bastian of MLB.com reports.

Kratz bounced around the majors and minors last season, spending time with the Astros, Angels, Pirates, and Blue Jays. However, he failed to produce virtually anything at the plate anywhere, as his .094 batting average in the majors and sub-.200 average in the minors prove. Between this lack of productivity and his age (currently 36 years old) will likely keep him in an organizational depth role as the Indians' other catching prospects come through the pipeline.

Analysis: 

Ryan Lavarnway
Athletics' Ryan Lavarnway: Signs NRI deal with A's
Ryan Lavarnway, C, OAK
11/30/2016
News: Lavarnway agreed to a minor league contract with the A's on Wednesday that includes an invite to spring training, Jane Lee of MLB.com reports.

The 29-year-old will get to make his case for a roster spot in camp, but Lavarnway will likely end up serving as minor league depth in 2017, as he did this past season for the Blue Jays and Braves. He's hit just .198/.258/.316 in parts of five seasons in the majors (407 plate appearances).

Analysis: 

Mike Ohlman
Blue Jays' Michael Ohlman: Inks deal with Blue Jays
Mike Ohlman, C, TOR
11/29/2016
News: Ohlman signed a minor league contract with Toronto on Monday, Shi Davidi of Sportsnet reports.

The 25-year-old catcher also received an invite to join the Jays for spring training. Ohlman hit .287 with seven homers and 44 RBI between two of St. Louis' minor league affiliates in 2016.

Analysis: 

Roberto Pena
White Sox's Roberto Pena: Signs with White Sox
Roberto Pena, C, HOU
11/28/2016
News: Pena signed a minor league contract with the White Sox on Monday, MLB.com's Brian McTaggart reports.

He was drafted in 2010 by the Astros and reached Triple-A last season for the first time in his career. Omar Narvaez, Kevan Smith and Alfredo Gonzalez are all likely ahead of Pena on the organizational depth chart, but it is a very weak position for the White Sox, so playing time could become available. That said, he has never posted a wRC+ above 90 in seven minor league seasons, so the offensive upside is very limited.

Analysis: 

Jason Castro
Twins' Jason Castro: Agrees to deal with Minnesota
Jason Castro, C, MIN
11/22/2016
News: Castro agreed to a three-year contract with the Twins, Ken Rosenthal of Fox Sports reports.

Since putting up a .276 batting average in 2013, Castro's hitting has regressed for three consecutive seasons, having bottomed out at .210 in 2016. However, the Twins deemed Castro's defensive performance to be rather valued, especially his pitch-framing ability, as his contract is slated to be worth upward of $24 million.

Analysis: 

Matt Wieters
Matt Wieters: Cuts left forearm in household accident
Matt Wieters, C, BAL
11/21/2016
News: Wieters cut his left forearm earlier in the offseason and received stitches on the wound, but the issue is not expected to affect his ability to play next season, Dan Connolly of BaltimoreBaseball.com reports.

Thankfully, the free agent incurred the minor laceration on his non-throwing arm, which should help him maintain his stock as one of the top catchers on the market this offseason. Wieters is expected to resume baseball activities in January and be 100 percent by the time spring training rolls around.

Analysis: 

Chris Gimenez
Chris Gimenez: Elects to become free agent
Chris Gimenez, C, CLE
11/20/2016
News: Gimenez opted to become a free agent after being outrighted off Cleveland's 40-man roster, Jordan Bastian of MLB.com reports.

Gimenez didn't produce much at the plate in 2016 as he hit just .216/.272/.331 over 68 games. Due to his subpar hitting, Gimenez will likely provide depth behind the plate, rather than take on a starting role regardless of where he ends up.

Analysis: 

Francisco Mejia
Indians' Francisco Mejia: Added to 40-man roster
Francisco Mejia, C, CLE
11/18/2016
News: Mejia was added to the Indians' 40-man roster Friday, Paul Hoynes of the Cleveland Plain Dealer reports.

The Indians weren't going to let Mejia get away in the Rule 5 draft -- he's one of the top catching prospects in the game (one of the top hitting catchers in the minor leagues, anyway). He posted a combined .342/.382/.514 line between Low-A and High-A in 2016, at one point hitting safely in 50 straight games. The 21-year-old figures to advance to Double-A next season.

Analysis: 

Cam Gallagher
Royals' Cameron Gallagher: Added to 40-man roster
Cam Gallagher, C, KC
11/18/2016
News: Gallagher was added to the Royals' 40-man roster Friday.

The Royals opted to add Gallagher rather than risk losing him in the Rule 5 draft. He advanced to the Double-A level in 2016, batting .259/.348/.359 with four homers and 24 RBI in 91 games. It's hard to imagine Gallagher will get a chance in 2017 with three other catchers on the 40-man roster.

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