Detroit Tigers watch as catching market continues to thin out

Tyler Kotila
Jake Rogers and Ty Madden, just two guys from Texas, talkin' baseball in the Detroit Tigers dugout.
Jake Rogers and Ty Madden, just two guys from Texas, talkin' baseball in the Detroit Tigers dugout. / Rodney Coleman-Robinson/Detroit Free
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Detroit Tigers continue watching catching market dwindle.

The Detroit Tigers winter has been a bit underwhelming. They have made a few moves but have passed up on several of the top options on the free agent market and the trade market. As the team continues to sit idly by while teams pilfer the free-agent market, something's got to give.

The Detroit Tigers are currently going into the 2023 season with Eric Haase and Jake Rogers as the primary options behind the dish. Haase took on more of the catching role than was expected in 2022 after Tucker Barnhart started struggling.

But if the Tigers indeed avoid signing a catcher, Jake Rogers will be slated for more playing time. He's fresh off of Tommy John Surgery and looking to get back on track behind the dish. The Tigers continue to run out of options on the free-agent market, and it's worrisome for 2023.

The way things stand now, in terms of WAR, Gary Sanchez and Jorge Alfaro are the only two players who rank above Barnhart that are still available to be signed. Sanchez would be a horrible decision, and Alfaro would be interesting, but the Tigers continue to wait it out and see what happens.

Lynn Henning tweeted that Harris is getting married this weekend, which makes it seem like things might get quiet for a few days. Not that this is anything new, but it leaves more chances for other teams to jump in and grab the players that they want.

MCB's own Matthew Scheidel seems to think that Harris has something up his sleeve as the off-season continues and the Tigers try to build for the 2023 season. He suggests that the Tigers may be poised to trade a starting pitcher to clear some space and help fill a void in another area.

This leads to a couple of different options as the off-season continues. The Tigers can sit back and let the days tick on and walk into 2023 with Haase/Rogers and hope that Rogers can slash better than his .182/.264/.378 over 255 plate appearances.

If they do opt to do something, it's likely going to be a trade, as Scheidel hints. The free agent market is out of talent, and a trade would be the only way to bring in a catcher to replace either Haase or Rogers.

Time will tell, but the Tigers continuing to sit and wait will only leave the options to thin out sooner and sooner.

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