Shawn Zarraga
Reds' Shawn Zarraga: Heads to Reds on NRI deal
Shawn Zarraga, C, CIN
12/9/2016
News: Zarraga signed a minor league contract with the Reds on Friday that includes an invitation to spring training, C. Trent Rosecrans of the Cincinnati Enquirer reports.

Zarraga spent the last two years in the Dodgers organization, most recently posting a measly .434 OPS with Triple-A Oklahoma City. Due to this and the general logjam at catcher in the Reds organization, the 27-year-old will likely just be an organizational depth piece from here on out.

Analysis: 

Stuart Turner
Reds' Stuart Turner: Selected by Reds in Rule 5 draft
Stuart Turner, C, CIN
12/8/2016
News: Turner was selected by the Reds with the 17th pick in the Rule 5 draft Thursday.

Turner will essentially provide the Reds with a warm body capable of setting up behind the dish in case Devin Mesoraco were to suffer an injury during spring training. He has not played above Double-A and offers limited upside. Look for him to be subjected to waivers and offered back to the Twins at the end of spring training.

Analysis: 

Luis Torrens
Padres' Luis Torrens: Traded to Padres
Luis Torrens, C, SD
12/8/2016
News: Torrens, who was selected by the Reds in the Rule 5 draft, was traded to the Padres on Thursday, MLB.com's Jonathan Mayo reports.

The Reds will receive cash and a player to be named later in the deal. Torrens, a 20-year-old catching prospect, missed all of the 2015 season following surgery to repair a torn labrum and played in just 52 games in 2016. He has some on-base skills, posting a 13.4 percent walk rate at Low-A last season, but he won't be fantasy relevant anytime soon. The Padres will have to keep Torrens on the active roster all season, otherwise he will be exposed to waivers and offered back to the Yankees. He will probably simply be stashed on the bench if he breaks camp with the club, as he is unlikely to be ready to handle the offensive or defensive side of the game at the big league level.

Analysis: 

A.J. Ellis
Marlins' A.J. Ellis: Agrees to one-year deal with Marlins
A.J. Ellis, C, PHI
12/7/2016
News: Ellis agreed to a one-year, $2.5 million deal with the Marlins on Wednesday, ESPN's Buster Olney reports.

Known for being great with pitchers, Ellis is the epitome of a player who is better in reality than fantasy. Last year Ellis hit .216, and he has a career .239/.340/.351 slash line with 37 home runs in 555 games. He will serve as J.T. Realmuto's backup, and should catch once or twice each week.

Analysis: 

Andrew Knapp
Phillies' Andrew Knapp: Backup role in 2017?
Andrew Knapp, C, PHI
12/7/2016
News: GM Matt Klentak said he is fine entering next season with Knapp as a backup to Cameron Rupp, Matt Gelb of the Philadelphia Inquirer reports.

Knapp, 25, disappointed after his breakout at Double-A in 2015, hitting just .266 with a .719 OPS last season for Triple-A Lehigh Valley. The Phillies have a superior catching prospect in Jorge Alfaro, but it does not make any sense to have him in the majors in a backup role when he could use additional development time at Triple-A. Knapp might be able to carve out a couple starts a week as a reserve, and he could also be used occasionally at first base if the Phillies want to get him some extra at-bats. There is also still a chance the Phillies will decide to bring in a veteran catcher to backup Rupp in 2017.

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Wilson Ramos
Rays' Wilson Ramos: Agrees to deal with Rays
Wilson Ramos, C, WAS
12/6/2016
News: Ramos (knee) agreed to a two-year deal with the Rays on Tuesday, Joel Sherman of the New York Post reports.

Ramos, who tore his ACL and meniscus in October, still has to pass a physical, but the 29-year-old looks set to join the Rays after putting together a career-best season in 2016. Over 133 games, Ramos posted a .307 batting average to go with a stellar .850 OPS, 80 RBI, and 22 home runs. However, because he's rehabbing his knee ailments, Ramos may be unavailable to play until June, Bob Nightengale of the USA Today reports.

Analysis: 

Jeff Mathis
Diamondbacks' Jeff Mathis: Expected to receive roughly 60 starts
Jeff Mathis, C, ARI
12/6/2016
News: Manager Terry Lovullo said that he expects Mathis to catch about 60 games in 2017, Steve Gilbert of MLB.com reports.

Mathis was signed to a two-year contract earlier in December, and although Chris Herrmann is expected to be the primary catcher, it seems like Mathis will still have a decently large role with his new club. However, it's likely more for his game-calling abilities rather than his bat, as his career batting average currently sits below the Mendoza Line.

Analysis: 

Chris Herrmann
Diamondbacks' Chris Herrmann: Larger role on tap?
Chris Herrmann, C, ARI
12/5/2016
News: Herrmann, whose 2016 season ended prematurely with a broken hand, may be in line for a significant increase in playing time following the D-backs' decision to non-tender Welington Castillo last week.

With veteran defensive stalwart Jeff Mathis inked to a two-year deal, the D-backs may lean on Herrmann in the larger portion of a platoon to begin the season, after the 29-year-old hit .284/.352/.493 with six homers in limited playing time a year ago. Former Rule 5 selection Oscar Hernandez is also on the 40-man roster, but he carried a mere .609 OPS at Double-A last season in his age-22 campaign. Unless another veteran is added to the fold before Opening Day, Herrmann figures to get an opportunity to eclipse 200 plate appearances in a big league season for the first time in his career in 2017.

Analysis: 

Hector Sanchez
Hector Sanchez: Non-tendered by Padres
Hector Sanchez, C, SD
12/3/2016
News: The Padres declined to tender Sanchez a contract Friday, making him a free agent, Dennis Lin of the San Diego Union-Tribune reports.

Sanchez was non-tendered for the second straight offseason. He fared well in a small sample with San Diego last year, going 12-for-42 with three homers, but he's a .241/.278/.354 career hitter. The 27-year-old had some concussion issues a few years ago but there have been no reports of head injuries in recent seasons.

Analysis: 

Eric Fryer
Eric Fryer: Non-tendered by Pirates
Eric Fryer, C, PIT
12/2/2016
News: Fryer was non-tendered by the Pirates on Friday and is now a free agent.

Fryer holds a .254/.332/.328 line in 291 career plate appearances and will go looking for a team in need of backup catcher. His fantasy value remains negligible, but there should be a team that values him as decent catching depth.

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