Earlier this week, GM Ruben Amaro Jr. said the Phils are "still looking" to possibly add a few pieces before the season begins.
Thus, it should come as no surprise that the team is in search of help, at least in the short term.
"We may be doing some other things," Amaro said. "We're still looking into a couple of other areas. Catching perhaps and maybe a little bit of pitching, but we're still working on some things."
Amaro is always looking to add pitching — that comes as no surprise — but that he's looking into adding another piece behind the plate presumably means he isn't comfortable going into April with a backstop consisting of Erik Kratz and, at this point, Sebastian Valle.
Kratz showed promising signs with his .248/.306/.504 slash line and nine homers and 26 RBIs in 157 plate appearances last season that he's at least a viable backup catching option. Valle, on the other hand, is a 22-year-old who has never played in the bigs and last year spent his first campaign above A-ball at Reading (83 games) and Lehigh Valley (22).
So who's available? The crop is thin, as Corey Seidman pointed out earlier today on CSNPhilly.com: Kelly Shoppach (32 years old), Chris Snyder (31), Miguel Olivo (34), Matt Treanor (36), Brian Schneider (36) and Rod Barajas (37).
The most intriguing option of the group actually appears to be Barajas, who, since leaving the Phillies after 2007, has produced a .230/.280/.406 line and has hit for power — he's parked 74 balls in 1717 ABs (23.3 at-bats per home run). Last year, he hit .206 with 11 homers and 31 RBIs in 321 ABs for the Pirates.Most of his best numbers have come against the Phillies though — his nine career HRs against the Phils (in 100 ABs) are the most he has against any team. And of course, Barajas was not a fan favorite in Philly ever since failing to block the plate in a game against the Marlins in May 2007.