Five low-cost catchers the Braves could consider

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The Braves have a lot of holes to fill in their lineup leading up to the season, but they still have plenty of time. They also have a very thin roster in Gwinnett in case disaster strikes, and it’s an area they need to address. With Manny Piña and William Contreras now in Oakland and Milwaukee respectively, the Braves are looking thin at a position they were very deep at going into 2022. There are other areas that could use bolstering as well, which I’ve covered in the links below:

C Tucker Barnhart

I’ve been a fan of the Braves getting Barnhart for a while, but I have cooled on that recently. He’s still a great defender and game manager behind the plate, and if he’s going somewhere on a minor-league deal, I’d love for it to be Atlanta. He’s the perfect guy to come up and keep the staff afloat, and manage young pitchers in a pinch.

C Jorge Alfaro

Alfaro is probably going to get a major-league deal, and I’m kind of surprised he was let go by the Padres. He never became the defensive stalwart some expected, but he still posted a .667 OPS. He’d make for a fine option in Gwinnett and is only 29 years old.

C Austin Hedges

Hedges is in the same boat as Barnhart for me — I’ve always respected his defense, mainly when he was in San Diego. He hasn’t ever been too much of a threat with the stick, but he’s another solid defensive backup option.

C Willians Astudillo

A former Brave, Astudillo is well-liked around the league for his antics, and he would fit in well with Atlanta’s locker room. Astudillo doesn’t catch as much anymore, but he has player plenty of other positions and has even pitched a few times. He would be a fun emergency option.

C Yermin Mercedes

Yermin Mercedes has had an interesting path. He was awesome in 2021 but appeared to step away from baseball and clashed with manager Tony La Russa (I can’t say I blame him for that). Still, he can hit, and the Braves could see if they can unlock something with him.

Photographer: Frank Jansky/Icon Sportswire

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