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A couple of catchers who aren’t catching anymore

Feb 12, 2014, 1:15 PM EDT

Carlos Santana AP AP

Carlos Santana and Jesus Montero were catchers once upon a time. Not particularly great catchers (in Montero’s case a pretty lousy one). But they could hit. Well, both hit in the minors and Santana has hit everywhere. Montero is something of a dumpster fire at the moment.

Either way, neither of them will be catching much going forward. Santana is slated to the Indians’ third baseman after playing third in winter ball. He’s doing that to make room for Yan Gomes, who wow’d ’em in 88 games last season. Terry Francona would love to get his bat in the lineup.

Montero is a different case. He’s moving to first base mostly to keep himself out of harm’s way. He’d likely be fourth on the depth chart at first base behind Justin Smoak, Corey Hart and Logan Morrison, but it’s probably too early to give up on his bat just yet and he has to play someplace. Ultimately he’s a DH at best. Smart money has him washing out if he doesn’t hit this season.

But no matter where the two of these guys are going to end up, they’re going to start spring training wearing the tools of ignorance, reports Paul Hoynes and Greg Johns, respectively. Partially because their managers don’t want them to completely lose their catching chops, but also because in the first week or two of spring training you need all the catchers you can get.

I give Santana a good chance of sticking at third. I give Montero little chance of anything. But it’ll be interesting to see the conversions.

  1. Rich Stowe - Feb 12, 2014 at 1:35 PM

    Even though Pineda hasn’t panned out yet for the Yankees, giving up Montero for him is looking like one of the best moves they’ve ever made

    normally, they hold on to a “top prospect” like that until they leave as a broken-down 25-28 year old free agent who never lived up to the hype (Hughes, Chamberlain) and the Yankees get nothing in return

    • leahariel - Feb 12, 2014 at 1:41 PM

      The Yankees traded him at the height of his value for someone who has not thrown a pitch. It was a disaster, but you could say the same for the Mairner’s.

      • sabathiawouldbegoodattheeighthtoo - Feb 12, 2014 at 2:49 PM

        Sadly, Pineda is leading Montero in WAR since the trade despite not throwing a single pitch.

      • kevinbnyc - Feb 12, 2014 at 5:46 PM

        The Yankees also got Pineda at the height of his value, and Pineda’s value was probably higher since Montero was still a crap defensive catcher even if he did bang a few home runs.

    • icanspeel - Feb 12, 2014 at 2:02 PM

      How can it be the best move ever made if they traded him for virtually nothing? Until Pineda does something it is nothing… They could have easily dealt him for someone who would have contributed at the same time.

      • jcmeyer10 - Feb 12, 2014 at 2:05 PM

        Right? It’s good to know they are teaching hyperbole in schools still.

    • superpriebe - Feb 12, 2014 at 2:37 PM

      …or they stay forever and become legends (Posada, Jeter, BW, Pettitte), or they trade him and get back Arod (Alfonso Soriano), or they play out their peak years and get a 1st-round pick when someone way-overpays them (Cano).

      Yeah, it’s been a real disaster for the Yanks.

  2. Kevin Gillman - Feb 12, 2014 at 1:43 PM

    Carlos will catch some regardless, I mean Indians will need a backup catcher. You don’t really think Mark Treanor makes this team, do you?

  3. billybawl - Feb 12, 2014 at 1:43 PM

    Someone who knows the M’s better than I should opine whether Montero gets much playing time at 1B in AAA over Ji-Man Choi. Maybe Montero finds himself a DH sooner than later?

  4. tcostant - Feb 12, 2014 at 1:51 PM

    Who does Justin Smoak have pictures of, that he keeps on getting chances?

    • billybawl - Feb 12, 2014 at 2:31 PM

      Cliff Lee?

      • sabathiawouldbegoodattheeighthtoo - Feb 12, 2014 at 2:51 PM

        Did anyone in Mariners scouting dept get fired after the Smoak and Montero acquisitions? Those are 2 pretty big whiffs on their part.

    • illbarry - Feb 12, 2014 at 9:18 PM

      Smoak hit 21 Hrs, and played stellar defense all year.

  5. hermie13 - Feb 12, 2014 at 2:24 PM

    Santana is DHing this year. Chiz is still the starting 3B though against lefties Santana may play there if Aviles isn’t.

    • Kevin Gillman - Feb 12, 2014 at 3:11 PM

      1st base, DH, Catching, and maybe…MAYBE 3rd base. That’s where Carlos will play, more or less in that order, although he might DH more than 1st base.

  6. drewsylvania - Feb 12, 2014 at 5:41 PM

    In Montero’s case, he’s using the tools of ignorance to convince the ignorant that he can catch.

  7. themanytoolsofignorance - Feb 12, 2014 at 6:03 PM

    Did some one say my name? Oh I see. Carlos Santana and that chubby fella, Montero, still need me. Quick! To the batmobile!

  8. tn16 - Feb 12, 2014 at 7:30 PM

    Smart move blue jays trade yam Gomes then release JP the next season

  9. thebaltimoron - Feb 13, 2014 at 5:26 PM

    No mention of that Mauer guy?

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