Could the Angels trade one of their catchers?

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Angels general manager Tony Reagins was asked about his catching surplus by Mark Saxon of ESPNLosAngeles.com and he didn’t shoot down the possibility of making a trade:

“You never close your mind to any potential deal that will make you
better,” Angels general manager Tony Reagins said.

Though Mike Napoli started behind the dish on Saturday afternoon against the Blue Jays, Jeff Mathis has started nine of the first 13 games to begin the season. Bobby Wilson is also on the 25-man roster, however that’s mainly because he is out of options. He has just one at-bat so far this year.

There’s an obvious crunch behind the plate, leading Buster Olney of ESPN.com to a possible solution, via Brian McPherson of the Providence Journal.

At a time when the Red Sox are looking for a strong defensive
catcher, the Angels and Boston would seem to have a possible trade match
on Jeff Mathis. Boston would obviously have to have at least one good
prospect in the deal, and you wonder if the two sides could also find a
way to work Mike Lowell into the conversation, given the Angels’ growing
issue at third base.


Again, that’s all speculation, and we don’t even know if Mike
Scioscia would ever consider trading Mathis, who has been playing in
front of Mike Napoli so much that Napoli met with his manager. It’s hard
to imagine that Boston would be interested in Mike Napoli, because the
Red Sox already have a catcher who is a better hitter than defender in
Victor Martinez; Boston’s preference for their next catcher will be
someone who can slow opposing base-stealers.

Jason Varitek allowed four stolen bases on Friday night, but for now, the Red Sox have told the pitchers to focus on the hitters instead of worrying about holding baserunners. Besides, three catchers aren’t a luxury the Red Sox can afford if they can’t find someone to take on Mike Lowell. Olney presents an interesting solution, but such a perfect scenario is unlikely to materialize.
 

Brown hired as general manager of Houston Astros

astros general manager
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HOUSTON — In joining the World Series champion Houston Astros, new general manager Dana Brown’s goal is to keep the team at the top of the league.

“I’m coming to a winning team and a big part of what I want to do is sustain the winning long term,” he said. “We want to continue to build, continue to sign good players, continue to develop players and continue the winning success.”

Brown was hired by the Astros on Thursday, replacing James Click, who was not given a new contract and parted ways with the Astros just days after they won the World Series.

Brown spent the last four seasons as the vice president of scouting for the Atlanta Braves.

“He is very analytic savvy,” Astros’ owner Jim Crane said. “He’s a great talent evaluator based upon what we’ve seen at the Braves, seasoned at player acquisitions, seasoned at player development and retention. They were often able to extend some of their player contracts… he’s got great people skills, excellent communicator and, last but not least, he’s a baseball player and knows baseball in and out and we were very impressed with that.”

The 55-year-old Brown becomes the only Black general manager in the majors and joins manager Dusty Baker to form just the second pairing of a Black manager and general manager in MLB history. The first was general manager Ken Williams and manager Jerry Manuel with the White Sox.

Brown said he interviewed for GM jobs with the Mets and Mariners in the past and that MLB commissioner Rob Manfred told him to stay positive and that his time to be a general manager would come.

“It’s pretty special,” he said. “We understand that there are a lot of qualified African Americans in the game that know baseball and that could be a big part of an organization and leading organization in baseball operations. So at the end of the day, I think it’s good for our sport to have diversity and I’m really excited for this opportunity.”

Crane was asked about having the league’s only Black general manager.

“Certainly, we are very focused on diversity with the Astros,” he said. “It’s a plus, but the guy’s extremely qualified and he’ll do a great job. It’s nice to see a man like Dana get the job and he earned the job. He’s got the qualifications. He’s ready to go.”

Brown doesn’t have a lot of connections to the Astros, but does have some ties. He played baseball at Seton Hall with Hall of Famer Craig Biggio, who spent his entire career with the Astros and serves as special assistant to the general manager. He played against fellow Hall of Famer and special assistant to the general manager Jeff Bagwell in the Cape Cod league during a short minor league career.

Brown said he spoke to both of them before taking the job and also chatted with Baker, whom he’s know for some time.

“Dusty is old school, he cuts it straight and I like it,” Brown said. “And so that means I can cut it straight with him.”

Brown worked for the Blue Jays from 2010-18 as a special assistant to the general manager. From 2001-09 he worked as director of scouting for the Nationals/Expos. He began his career with the Pittsburgh Pirates, where he spent eight years as their area scouting supervisor and East coast cross checker.

Click had served as Houston’s general manager since joining the team before the 2020 season from the Tampa Bay Rays.

Brown, who has been part of drafting a number of big-name players like Stephen Strasburg, Ryan Zimmerman and last season’s National League rookie of the year Michael Harris, is ready to show Crane that bringing him to Houston was the right choice.

“Baseball is all I know, it’s my entire life,” he said. “So I want to empty myself into this city, the Astro fans and let Jim Crane know that he made a special pick.”