Rounding out the American League
Despite the fact that both the Angels and Rangers had disappointing seasons in 2022, I believe there’s more talent in this division than we saw on paper this past season. I also think there’s potential for the West to become a more competitive division in the coming years, even if the Astros have had a stranglehold on things for a while now.
Houston Astros: Speaking of Houston, I figured I’d talk about them first since they’re the class of the division. That said, I don’t think I see a trade match here, even if the Astros could have the pitching depth to make a strong offer. My guess is they’ll look to retain one or more of Christian Vazquez, Martin Maldonado, or even Jason Castro, who are all scheduled to be free agents after the World Series is over. They do also have a former top 100 prospect in the system in Korey Lee, so my gut tells me they’ll allocate their resources elsewhere.
Seattle Mariners: Do I see the Blue Jays striking up a deal with the team that eliminated them in the playoffs this year? Not likely. As far as talking about a trade for a catcher, I’m sure the Mariners are confident going forward with Cal Raleigh as their main starter, so we can move on pretty quickly here.
Oakland A’s: Oakland started a full-on rebuild last offseason when they traded their stars including Matt Olson to the Braves, and of course, Matt Chapman to the Blue Jays. While I could see them having interest in a talented youngster like Moreno, I don’t see a fit here either. They should be pretty well set up for the future between Shea Langeliers and Tyler Soderstrom, so it won’t be Oakland that the Jays are pulling another blockbuster with, at least not for a catcher.
Los Angeles Angels: There could be a fit in L.A. for a big trade involving a catcher, but that likely depends on how high the Angels are on Logan O’Hoppe, who MLB.com rates as their top prospect. My guess is that unless something actually develops with a Shohei Ohtani trade market, there’s probably not much discussion to be had between the two clubs.
Texas Rangers: Last but not least would be the Rangers, who I believe are a team that we shouldn’t sleep on in the future. As far as a trade partner is concerned for one of the Blue Jays backstops, I think they’ll likely stick with Jonah Heim for the time being, and look to boost their roster in other ways.
I’m not really that surprised, but a deeper dive into the rest of the AL didn’t really bring me any closer to a good trade idea for one of the Blue Jays’ catchers. Let’s see what the National League has to offer.