Russell Martin
Blue Jays' Russell Martin: Will receive limited workload
Russell Martin, C, TOR
5:40 PM
News: Martin will be eased into spring training by having a limited defensive workload, Ben Nicholson-Smith of Sportsnet reports.

Manager John Gibbons says the plan is to "make sure he gets enough at-bats" before the season begins. Martin underwent minor knee surgery this offseason and it appears the organization is exercising caution regarding his return. In addition, the 33-year-old has a built-in break this March when he joins the Canadian WBC team as a coach for a few days. Martin is expected to start Toronto's Grapefruit League game this Sunday, but he should be well-rested when the regular season begins.

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John Ryan Murphy
Twins' John Ryan Murphy: Competing for backup catcher role
John Ryan Murphy, C, MIN
2/23/2017
News: Murphy will compete with Chris Gimenez and Mitch Garver for the backup catcher job behind Jason Castro, ESPN 1500 am Twin Cities reports.

Murphy won the backup role last year in spring training but then went 3-for-40 at the plate and was quickly demoted to Triple-A Rochester. He didn't fare much better in the minors as he hit just three home runs with a .609 OPS. He'll get a fresh start this spring, but he's likely behind Gimenez with Garver being a long shot.

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Juan Graterol
Blue Jays' Juan Graterol: Moves up depth chart
Juan Graterol, C, TOR
2/22/2017
News: Following the release of fellow catcher A.J. Jimenez, Graterol now sits as the team's third catcher on the depth chart, SB Nation reports.

Graterol has been claimed by four teams over the past three months. Other than 14 at-bats for the Angels last year, the 28-year-old backstop has been a career minor leaguer. In 527 games at the lower levels, Graterol has hit .270/.320/.335, displaying little to no power over ten seasons. Even though he's listed as the third catcher now, it's very likely that he'll be usurped by prospects Reese McGuire and Max Pentecost by mid-season. It would take an early-season injury to Russell Martin or Jarod Saltalamacchia for Graterol to see any MLB action this year.

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Omar Narvaez
White Sox's Omar Narvaez: Established good rapport with Rodon
Omar Narvaez, C, CHW
2/22/2017
News: Narvaez developed a good rapport with several of the White Sox's starters in 2016, something that gives him an edge to claim a roster spot when the team heads north, Scott Merkin of the White Sox's team site reports.

Narvaez hit a little (.267) in his introduction to the majors, but his presence was felt behind the plate more, a notion reinforced by Carlos Rodon's 3.45 ERA in 12 starts with Narvaez as his batterymate. If the future ace of the staff is comfortable throwing to Narvaez, you can bet he'll have a spot on the 25-man roster. Unfortuantely for fantasy players, there's little in Narvaez's minor-league profile to suggest he'll be anything more than a .250-hitter with little pop.

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Geovany Soto
White Sox's Geovany Soto: Returns to catching
Geovany Soto, C, CHW
2/20/2017
News: Soto (knee) caught a bullpen session Monday, Scott Merkin of MLB.com reports.

The veteran backstop sat out a good chunk of last season after undergoing knee surgery, then experienced inflammation in the same knee later in the season. It seems like all those issues are behind him, however, so he will likely be able to get back to competing for a job with the major league club during spring training without any issues. Given the relative inexperience the other competitors have, Soto stands a good chance to break camp with the White Sox.

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Ryan Lavarnway
Athletics' Ryan Lavarnway: Looking to make mark in WBC and spring
Ryan Lavarnway, C, OAK
2/20/2017
News: Lavarnway, who agreed to a minor league contract with the A's on Nov. 30, is looking to make an impact in both the World Baseball Classic and with the A's this spring, Susan Slusser of the San Francisco Chronicle reports.

The veteran will depart A's camp on Feb. 27 to play for Team Israel in Seoul, South Korea, and will be busy before and after the tournament trying to make his mark on his new team. The former Red Sox prospect, who was a sixth-round pick in 2008 out of Yale, has hit only .198 over 134 major league games in stints with Boston, the Orioles and Braves. However, Oakland is reportedly impressed with his ability to handle pitchers, and he also comes to the Bay Area on the recommendation of former A's and current Red Sox hitting coach Chili Davis, who was familiar with Lavarnway from his time in the Boston organization. Manager Bob Melvin has described Lavarnway as a possible "late bloomer" from his observations thus far, and he could certainly carve a out a spot for himself on the major league roster considering the club's relative dearth of right-handed backstop depth behind Josh Phegley. "It seemed like there would be an opportunity here," he said, "and that's all I can ask for at this point in my career - for someone to believe in me and give me a chance to play up to my potential."

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Zack Collins
White Sox's Zack Collins: Motivated by doubts
Zack Collins, C, CHW
2/19/2017
News: Collins will have to prove he can catch at the major-league level, according to scouts, Daryl Van Schouwen of the Chicago Sun-Times reports.

Collins, the White Sox's fourth-ranked prospect according to RotoWire, says he uses those scouting assessments as fuel to improve as a catcher. The White Sox also have acknowledged the need to develop his defensive skills, having him primarily focus on that area of the game during the Arizona Fall League. There's a lot on a young catcher's plate -- blocking balls, calling pitches, controlling baserunners, framing pitches -- those are the areas Collins needs to develop over the next few seasons ahead of his 2019 ETA.

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Brian McCann
Astros' Brian McCann: Brushing up on Astro pitchers
Brian McCann, C, HOU
2/19/2017
News: McCann caught Dallas Keuchel's first bullpen session of spring training Friday.

The Astros are hoping Keuchel and McCann are the battery come Opening Day, so it was encouraging to hear Keuchel talking about a comfort level with Houston's new catcher. McCann's been around and understands what it takes for a catcher to become acquainted with a bunch of new starters. The 12-year veteran has caught 1,372 games since his debut in 2005, so he's learned some about the catcher-pitcher relationship. He also brings a power bat to the position, having averaged 20 homers, 74 RBI and a .799 OPS. McCann will serve as Houston's primary catcher this season with Evan Gattis his backup.

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Garrett Stubbs
Astros' Garrett Stubbs: Builds mass in offseason
Garrett Stubbs, C, HOU
2/19/2017
News: Stubbs reported to training camp weighing 10 pounds heavier than when he finished playing in the Arizona Fall League last November, Jake Kaplan of the Houston Chronicle reports.

Stubbs, the organization's seventh-ranked prospect according to RotoWire, is the catcher closest to the major leagues after reaching Double-A Corpus Christi in 2016. Between High-A Lancaster and his time with the Double-A Hooks, he slashed /304/.391/.469/.860 and was actually better after leaving the hitter-smooching High-A California League. The Astros want to see the slight-framed catcher bulk up to better handle the rigors of catching long term. He'll reach Triple-A this season and is on schedule for MLB in 2018 or 2019.

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Roberto Perez
Indians' Roberto Perez: Will begin 2017 in reserve role
Roberto Perez, C, CLE
2/18/2017
News: Perez will begin the 2017 season as the backup catcher to Yan Gomes, Jordan Bastian of MLB.com reports.

Manager Terry Francona made it clear on Thursday morning that there will be no competition between Perez and Gomes for the primary job behind the plate. The skipper added that he'll look for opportunities to work Perez into the mix as often as possible. Even as the backup, the 28-year-old should see a fair amount of innings. His competitor Gomes has played in less than 100 games in four of his five professional seasons, and he hit a career-low .167 in 251 at-bats last year. If he struggles early, or suffers another injury, Perez, who's already a decent fantasy asset in deep leagues, becomes an immediate option across most formats.

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