The Brewers may be searching for a new catcher via free agency this off-season.
Of the catchers they had last season, Victor Caratini remains under club control through arbitration. However, Omar Narvaez is set to be a free agent. If the Brewers do not feel confident in prospect Mario Feliciano, they could elect to bring in someone else externally. In a recent article, Jon Heyman listed the Brewers as a landing spot for catcher Christian Vazquez.
The article also had an outside expert predict the contract lengths and salaries. Their estimate is that Vazquez will receive a three year deal worth $33MM. Vazquez is regarded as the second best catcher on the market this off-season. He is behind Wilson Contreras who in the same article is predicted to land a four year, $88MM deal.
Should the Brewers consider targeting Christian Vazquez?
The Brewers used a tag team approach at catcher last season. Unfortunately, both Caratini and Narvaez struggled. This could open the door for Matt Arnold to bring in a new player to takeover the primary catcher role.
Vazquez was drafted by the Boston Red Sox in 2008. In 2014 he made his major league debut with the team. He remained with the Red Sox until he was traded to the Astros at this year’s trade deadline. With the Astros, he has struggled to receive constant playing time. Due to this, he has made it clear that he wants to sign with a team that will grant him a starting gig next year.
Overall, Vazquez is a well rounded catcher. He seemingly always puts together a season with a batting average around .260-.280 and has great bat to ball skills. With the exception of 2019 when he hit 23 home runs, he is not a long ball threat but he does have good gap to gap power. Behind the plate, Vazquez has a strong throwing arm and is a good pitch framer.
At 32 years old, this off-season may be Vazquez’s last shot at a multi year deal. Catchers above 30 in age typically come with risk, so it will be interesting to see if the Brewers show any interest in him or not.