A new minor league catcher

By Jason Wojciechowski on May 5, 2007 at 4:34 AM

Catfish Stew alerts me that the A's have made another trade. JD Closser is coming to the A's for Charles Thomas. Given that Thomas was never called up despite all the A's outfield injury woes, it was pretty clear that the A's didn't think much of him anymore.

Ken at Catfish Stew describes the trade as potentially having two motivations: former prospects being swapped for each other (the old change o' scenery); and forty-man roster considerations (specifically, when Mark Kotsay and Esteban Loiaza come back, people are going to have to be removed from the roster; Ken guesses that Jeremy Brown will be one of those, and if he's lost on waivers, the A's will need minor league catching depth - hence Closser).

Closser's always been a high-OBP guy in the minors (.383 for his career, .384 last year in Colorado Springs), but his batting average in the majors has been too low for his good walk total and decent power (~.180 minor league ISO, though only ~.130 in the majors) to turn into a valuable contribution.

He's 27 this year, so the future is now, though there is the constant admonition that "catchers develop late" to consider.

Is there any reason, given the way Jason Kendall is hitting and throwing these days, not to just cut him and go with two of Meluse/Closser/Brown right now?

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