Dec 1, 2009, 2:54 PM EDT
Indians catcher Kelly Shoppach won’t be non-tendered after all, as the Rays have picked up the strikeout-prone 29-year-old in return for a player to be named.
The Indians were ready to move on from Shoppach because of his likely $2.5 million salary in 2010 and their surplus of catching, which includes Lou Marson, Wyatt Toregas, Chris Gimenez and No. 1 prospect Carlos Santana. Shoppach, who broke through with 21 homers and an 865 OPS in 2008, hit .214/.335/.399 in 271 at-bats last season.
It looked like the Rays wanted to re-sign Gregg Zaun to pair with incumbent Dioner Navarro, but they’re trying a different tact now. One wonders if this will lead to a move to non-tender Navarro. The Rays aren’t really in a position to pay a backup catcher as much as Shoppach will make next year. Navarro earned $2.1 million last season, and while he had an awful year, players in arbitration very rarely are forced to take paycuts. If the Rays continue talks with Zaun after this, it will provide a strong indication that Navarro is a goner.
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