Ruben Amaro said last week that the Phillies sought to add a catcher and perhaps another pitcher. Chad Durbin was added to the bullpen and Yuniesky Betancourt was brought in on a minor-league deal to compete for a utility infield spot, but the backup catching position hasn't been addressed.
The best available catcher, Kelly Shoppach, agreed to a one-year, $1.5 million deal with the Mariners on Tuesday. That's just a few hundred thousand dollars more than the Phils committed to Durbin, meaning Amaro prioritized another right-handed reliever over a proven backup catcher with power.
Shoppach would have been an upgrade over Erik Kratz -- who is slated to start the season as Carlos Ruiz serves his 25-game suspension for a banned amphetamine -- but Shoppach has a better chance to start in Seattle. Perhaps the Phillies expressed interest but Shoppach was more into a starting job.
The rest of the catching market is ugly, and quite frankly none of the remaining options look much better than a Kratz-Humberto Quintero setup to begin the season.
Miguel Olivo would fit right in with this group, which subtracted from its already shaky plate discipline by adding Delmon Young, Michael Young and Ben Revere. Olivo last season had the lowest walk rate of any major-leaguer since 2008. He also hit .222, didn't make up for it with extra-base hits, and is a notoriously bad defender behind the plate.
The only other options are Rod Barajas (.206/.283/.343 last season, doesn't like blocking the plate), Chris Snyder (bad back, can't move behind the plate, hit .176 last year) and Matt Treanor (18-for-103 in 2012).
Add one of these backstops, or stick with the Kratz-Quintero plan until Ruiz returns? As bad as these options are, consider that Kratz did hit .181 with three walks and 19 strikeouts over his final 76 plate appearances last season.