Smith, spent the 2019 season with the Angels after they had claimed him off of waivers on October 26th, 2018. He appeared in 67 games and produced a slash line of .251/.318/.393. Smith hit 12 Doubles, 5 Home Runs and drove in 20 runs in 191 at-bats.
Now that Kevan Smith is a free agent, the Angels have a bigger hole at the catching position. The only healthy Catcher with big-league experience is Anthony Bemboom, who appeared in 25 games in his short big-league career last season. The Angels also have Max Stassi who was acquired via trade from the Houston Astros at the trade deadline, but he is recovering from hip surgery and he might not be ready for Opening Day.
After the non-tender of Smith, the Angels will indeed be in the market for Catching in addition to Starting Pitching.
There are 4 main options left on the free-agent market for Catching after top free agent Yasmani Grandal signed with the Chicago White Sox.
Alex Avila / 32 years old
Avila has been with the Arizona Diamondbacks for the past 2 seasons where he was the backup catcher. Last season he hit .207/.353/.421 and hit 8 Doubles and 9 Home Runs while driving in 24 runs in 63 games. While he does provide some pop he has been well known for his defense and has been rated as a top framer for the past 2 seasons.
The last time he appeared in more than 100 games he hit .264/.387/.447 while hitting 13 Doubles, 1 Triple, 14 Home Runs while driving in 49 runs in the 2017 season with both the Detroit Tigers (77 games) and Chicago Cubs (35 games).
Jason Castro / 32 years old
Castro has spent the past 3 seasons with the Minnesota Twins after signing a 3-year deal. Castro was signed to be their main catcher, but injury problems and the emergence of Mitch Garver saw him relegated to the backup. Last season saw him appear in 79 games and hit .232/.332/.435. He also hit 9 Doubles, 13 Home Runs and drove in 30 Runs. He is slightly above average as far as the defensive metrics go but is still capable of providing on both defense and offense.
Martin Maldonado / 33 years old
Maldonado, a former Angel (2017-2018) could wind up back in Anaheim. He not only has ties with the current Front Office but sought after Starting Pitcher Gerrit Cole and New Angels Manager Joe Maddon. Maldonado was Gerrit Cole’s personal Catcher in Houston after the Astros acquired Maldonado and was briefly on Joe Maddon’s Cubs in 2019. He is mostly known for his defense, but the defensive metrics do not rate his framing as good as it was when he was with the Angels just a few years ago.
Last season saw Maldonado play for the Kansas City Royals (74 games), Chicago Cubs (4 games), and Houston Astros (27 games) while appearing in 105 games. He hit .213/.293/.378 and hit 19 Doubles, 12 Home Runs while driving in 27 runs.
Robinson Chirinos / 35 years old
Chirinos was with the Houston Astros and is likely going to be the Catcher with the most demand of the four. He has an above-average bat for a Catcher and is around average defensively. The 2019 season saw him appear in a career-high 114 games while producing a slash line of .238/.347/.443 and hitting 22 Doubles, 1 Triple, 17 Home Runs and driving in 58 runs.
Featured Image: Karen Warren/Staff Photographer