Originally written on The Outside Corner  |  Last updated 11/5/13
The Texas Rangers are bringing back one of their catchers, re-signing Geovany Soto to a one-year deal worth $3.05 million plus incentives. Texas GM Jon Daniels said that the team intends for Soto to be the team's primary catcher in 2014, seemingly spelling the end for a possible AJ Pierzynski return to Arlington. In 2013, Soto was Pierzynski's primary backup and was impressive, hitting .245/.328/.466 with nine homers in 184 plate appearances. Will Soto's re-signing take the Rangers out of the Brian McCann sweepstakes? Far from it, in my opinion. While Soto will be the team's primary catcher, he obviously won't be the team's *only* catcher. If Texas signs McCann, I assume they'd use him like they used Mike Napoli in 2011 and 2012 - primarily as a designated hitter while catching once or twice a week to give Soto a rest. Doing that let's you keep both guys healthy along with keeping McCann's bat in the lineup and keeping his questionable defense off the field as much as possible. However, I'd assume this *does* take the Rangers out of contention for signing another top-tier catcher like a Jarrod Saltalamacchia or Carlos Ruiz. Both of those players have more defensive value than McCann, and would likely to be signed in part because of their defensive abilities in addition to their offensive skills. It wouldn't make sense for Texas to sign either of those guys and use them as a part-time catcher and full-time DH like it would with McCann. I actually thought Soto could be a good value for a team looking for 100 games out of a backstop. $3.05 million is chump change, especially for a large market club like the Rangers. If Soto can come even remotely close to matching his line from last year in 500 plate appearances, that will be money well-spent by Texas, and will set Soto up for another payday next year. [follow]
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