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Catcher Kelly Shoppach designated for assignment

The Mariners have designated Kelly Shoppach for assignment. Would the Rangers be interested?

Kelly Shoppach
Kelly Shoppach

Seattle Mariner catcher Kelly Shoppach, a Fort Worth native, graduate of Brewer High School, and former Baylor Bear, has been designated for assignment by the Seattle Mariners.

This is an interesting decision by the M's, as Shoppach hasn't been bad for them...he has a .196/.293/.346 line on the season, good for an 84 OPS+ in Safeco, and has thrown out 37% of attempted basestealers this season (and 30% for his career). Although Shoppach is 33 and is a career backup, to my outsider's point of view, he still seems to have some gas left in the tank.

The Rangers currently have Geovany Soto backing up starter A.J. Pierzynski. Soto is hitting .197/.305/.324 (69 OPS+) after putting up a .198/.270/.343 line while splitting time between Texas and the Cubs last season.

Shoppach being available has me wondering if the Rangers might not have interest in him as a potential upgrade over Soto. Soto is under contract this season for $2.75 million, which the Rangers are on the hook for either way, but he's not hit and, to my mind, hasn't been so great defensively that his glove makes him a must-keep (although I also don't know that he's been the disaster of a play-caller that some fans have suggested he is).

The ideal scenario for the Rangers would be for Shoppach to be waived, clear waivers, become a free agent, and accept a minor league deal with Texas, allowing him to be stashed in AAA in case of injury or ineffectiveness. I have to think, though, that some major league team would want Shoppach, so the Rangers would probably need to claim Shoppach (or work out a deal with Seattle to trade for him) and waive Soto if they really wanted Shoppach.