Injuries to Chris Snyder, Ryan Doumit, and Jason Jaramillo left the Pirates so short on catching depth that they had to trade for 26-year-old career minor leaguer Michael McKenry and make him the starter.
McKenry has predictably hit just .256 with a measly .642 OPS in 37 games, but his reign as the primary catcher is likely over with Doumit returning from the disabled list today after missing the past two months with an ankle injury.
Under normal circumstances the Pirates prefer to play Doumit in the outfield because his defense behind the plate leaves something to be desired, but they’ll gladly use him at catcher right now and hope the offensive upgrade from McKenry makes it a worthwhile move.
Jon Morosi of MLB Network reports that the Brewers may be interested in Jake Arrieta.
The Brewers could definitely use a front line starter, especially with Jimmy Nelson slated to miss a good chunk of next season due to a rotator cuff injury. Arrieta will be expensive, obviously, but the Brewers have a lot more payroll flexibility than most teams, with only minimal money due on long term contracts. Most of that is for Ryan Braun, but even the outlay for him is reasonable, with deferred money involved. Tom Haudricourt of the Journal-Sentinel laid all of that out back in October.
Milwaukee had a surprisingly good 2017 and they have the ability to add in free agency or to take on salary in trades if they want to. Maybe they don’t get Arrieta but they could make a splash this offseason.