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Report: White Sox have shown interest in catcher Martin Maldonado

by Joe Binder

Could a veteran catcher be added to the mix?

According to Chandler Rome of The Athletic, the White Sox are among the teams who have shown interest in former Astros backstop Martin Maldonado. MLB.com’s Mark Feinsand originally reported last month that four or five clubs were believed to be in the mix, with the Padres and Marlins also among those.

Maldonado, 37, has spent the past six seasons in Houston, where he’s certainly been reliant on his defense. The former Astro slashed a mere .191/.273/.350 during his time in the Space City and has hit just .207/.282/.349 over 13 major league seasons. Given his lack of offensive production and growing age, it would make sense for Maldonado to serve in more of a short-term, backup-type role should he be signed.

As the White Sox roster stands right now, Korey Lee is the catcher at the top of the depth chart and figures to get his chance to start regularly in 2024. A former teammate of Maldonado’s in Houston, Lee had a decent .278/.325/.386 slash in 86 Triple-A games in 2023. However, he failed to carry that over during his major league stint towards the end of last season, where he hit just .077/.143/.138 over 70 plate appearances.

Right behind Lee is also prospect Edgar Quero, who was the main piece of the Lucas Giolito and Reynaldo Lopez trade with the Angels. The 20-year-old backstop still needs some further development in the minors, and likely won’t see major league action until the second half of 2024 or even 2025. This is where a veteran like Maldonado, albeit not a great option, could factor into the mix and provide guidance for current catchers and pitchers in the meantime.

Of course, it’s hard to avoid talking about catchers without bringing up Salvador Perez. The 33-year-old’s name has been lurking around like Jaws after being mentioned as a potential target at the trade deadline and entering the offseason. Manager Pedro Grifol would welcome this move with open arms even if most fans would not, as it would give him with a familiar face and leader to provide clubhouse stability for a team that showed zero culture last season.

While Perez has been a Royals’ icon for years, 670 the Score’s Bruce Levine has reported that Kansas City is willing to part ways given his bloated contract. The veteran is set to make $20 million in 2024 and $22 million in 2025. His contract also includes a $13.5-million team option in 2026. 

It will be interesting to see what course of action the White Sox ultimately decide to take over the next few weeks. As we get additional information, we will continue to provide further updates.

For more, be sure to follow us on social media @SoxOn35th.

Featured Photo: Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports

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