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Astros: Welcome Victor Caratini!

Updated: Dec 7, 2023

Tonight, multiple media folks including Chandler Rome are reporting that Victor Caratini is being signed by the Astros for $12M/ 2 years. While that number is higher than I hoped, THIS is the move I have repeatedly been begging for.


Here are just a few of the offseason articles and Caratini references.


Improving the 2024 Astros- Position Players- (LINK)

To summarize my options in order

Catcher

1. Sign Caratini ASAP if possible- $3-4M AAV


2024 Astros Improvement Plan

Catcher

A. Sign Caratini ASAP if possible- $3-4M AAV


The Winter Meeting Priorities (LINK)


So here is my Winter Meeting Checklist for the Astros. I am going to lean to Free Agent signings as the primary move but trades here are also an option.


Step 1- Sign Victor Caratini


I think Caratini is almost the perfect match for Diaz as a backup Catcher that could step up if he had to. He is 30 and has over 6 years of service time which makes him just right as a not too old veteran. Caratini is a better framer than Diaz but is worse at everything else. Yet his Defensive WAR per inning number is good.

Cost- $3-4M AAV - 2 Year


I am proud that the Astros are making this move and completely thrilled. I want you to know you are not wasting your time here.


Let's focus on WHY Victor Caratini is that perfect match for Diaz. Let me give you some reasons the Astros signed free agent Victor Caratini as their backup catcher.


Here are some basic reasons.

  1. Caratini is 30 and not 37.

  2. Caratini KNOWS he is a backup catcher.

  3. Caratini is an ABOVE AVERAGE hitting catcher.

  4. Caratini is a very good pitch framer. Perhaps he and Diaz can help each other improve in their weaker spots of defense at catcher.


Caratini is 30 years old and has 2950 innings caught (6.051 years of service)


To me Caratini is the perfect blend of experience and age. He isn't young but he isn't old.


Caratini KNOWS he is a backup catcher but he can carry the load if Diaz has an injury.


Caratini started 87 games in 2021 and 73 games in 2022 at catcher. He IS capable of being a starting catcher if needed but he was the backup last year (54 games started) and he is coming here to be Diaz's backup. There is no confusion of roles.


He is the perfect insurance policy at catcher.


Caratini is an average to ABOVE AVERAGE hitting catcher.


Caratini has a career wRC+ of 85. Last year he hit 94 wRC+. In 2024, he is projected to hit 98 wRC+. The average MLB catcher hits 90 wRC+.


Here is my obligatory data dump for Caratini and other Astros catchers.

Astros Catchers

Notice how good it will be at catcher batting next season.


The Astros will either have a projected 117 wRC+ hitting catcher or a projected 98 wRC+ catcher starting almost every game. The Astros had a 66 wRC+ catcher starting 116 games last season.


Caratini is a switch hitter; he actually bats better as an LHH. The Astros will have maximum flexibility to deploy catchers as matchups vs. opposing pitchers. Having a catching crew with a projected 110 wRC+ is going to be transformational to this lineup.


I will talk about the offense more in general in the next few days.


Caratini is a very good pitch framer.


In the defensive stats above, what Diaz is good at Caratini isn't. However, the above average framer Caratini may be able to help Diaz there.

Perhaps he and Diaz can help each other improve in their weaker spots of defense at catcher.


Notes


Victor Caratini folks is a backup catcher. Don't let others distract you with other thoughts. He has started at first base twice in the last four seasons. He can play there but I would rather Diaz play at 1B if they needed to do that.


Some have questions about the price the Astros are paying here.


There were no good market numbers for Caratini to truly project what he would ger in Free Agency, but let me ask you this.


Would you rather pay $4.5M for 66 wRC+ and horrible defense like they did in 2023 or $6M for 98 wRC+ and positive defensive WAR? Caratini will be a top 10 backup catcher that can step in and be a starting catcher if they need him to. I think they paid what they needed to pay to do what they needed to do.


Conclusions


I cannot be more pumped. This is the move I wanted, and it has happened.


The Astros project to have the NINTH best WAR from catcher now with 3.7 WAR. Before opening day the Astros projected to have the 29th WAR from catcher. Diaz was able to surprise to get them to 25th in WAR from catcher in 2023.


Now with Diaz and Caratini, the Astros project to have the ninth most WAR from catcher.


Can you tell that I am excited?


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1 comentário


Considering the handcuffs ($$$$), Dana‘s first significant offseason move is better than we could have expected. As you know, the free agent catcher market sucks this year. On to relievers now!

Curtir
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