MLB News: Indians add veteran catcher Matt Treanor

With a need for a potential third-string catcher, the Cleveland Indians signed veteran free agent Matt Treanor to a minor league deal on Tuesday.

Treanor, 37, might be most well known for being the husband of Olympic volleyball champ Misty May-Treanor. But he’s stayed around in the majors for quite a while as a somewhat serviceable backup. In his nine-year career, he has played in 468 games with a .221/.313/.305 offensive line. In 2012, he appeared in 36 contest for the Los Angeles Dodgers. He missed all of last season after left knee surgery.

With Yan Gomes set to take over everyday catching duties and Carlos Santana requesting to take grounders at third base, this was a likely move to give some veteran a shot for backup duty. Down the stretch last year, former Indian Kelly Shoppach was on the 40-man roster but appeared in just one game. Lou Marson was let go in the latest series of roster cuts.

Logically, Treanor won’t see too much playing time in 2014 even if he does make the MLB team. But with his non-roster invitation to Major League spring training camp, he could eventually spend some time in Triple-A Columbus or fill in if any injuries occur. Again, this is a zero-risk move with very minimal upside in case of emergency.

[Related: Terry Francona has renewed my patience with the Cleveland Indians]

  • Jason Hurley


  • Kildawg

    Solid move for the Indians getting this guy, and I could have predicted this. Don’t be surprised if Mr. Misty May makes the Opening Day roster, especially if Stubbs or Bourn are traded (more likely Stubbs is moved because he’s cheaper, but Bourn is relatively well-priced given some of these recent contracts)

  • nj0

    The whole “Santana-to-third” thing is being blown way out proportions in my opinion. The likelihood of him going from every day catcher to every day third baseman is very close to nil. As pointed out in an article at Fangraphs by Mike Petriello, you can only find a handful of players who have made that type of transition in modern baseball and Carlos doesn’t really seem to have the tools that those guys had. I think at best we’re talking about spot duty or a handful of starts.

    And adding Treanor is just your typical move to add some catcher depth at the upper levels of the minor. If he is seeing regular service time with the major league club, it’ll mean that things are not going particularly well.

  • nj0

    If the 38-year-old catcher with a career 66 OPS+ makes the opening day roster, I will not be happy.

  • Garry_Owen

    I might be mis-remembering, but didn’t we draft Carlos originally as a SS? Granted, that was a few years ago, but I thought it was his natural position (again, assuming my mind hasn’t taken leave of my brain this early).

  • nj0

    No, we traded Casey Blake (plus I think $5M?) to the Dodgers for him. He played some 3B and OF in A-ball but that was back in ’05-’07.

  • Garry_Owen

    So, I’m completely crazy? That’s too bad. I thought I would make it well past 40. Oh well, at least I can now officially start “the old man act” (which I’ve frankly been looking forward to for a number of years).

  • nj0

    Well, not completely. Just slightly. And honestly, who can remember all the history of players, moves, etc.?

    Personally, I don’t think Carlos looks that good at 1B so him playing well at 3B seems a stretch.

  • Garry_Owen

    Slightly is better than completely. I’ll take it!
    I don’t think he’s ever looked that good at Catcher, either. I don’t know what the solution is. I guess I’d be fine if he was just DH.

  • The_Real_Shamrock

    C’mon man Tribe Fever, catch it now it’s only December!!!!!

  • nj0

    There’s a multitude of legitimate reasons to criticize and mock the Tribe. Making the minor-est of minor moves by picking up a vet catcher to sit in AAA is not one of them.

  • mgbode

    I think it is born from the fact that Chisenhall has been a disappointment at the plate and his defense has been pretty bad too. So, if Santana is at 3B, then at least we have a good offense out of the position.

    But, I hate that line of thinking because I don’t care where the offense comes from. DH, 1B, RF, who cares? I don’t want to mess with Santana’s hitting and learning a tough new position may do just that. I’d rather him focus on being an everday platoon 1B, DH, C and figure something else out for 3B (unless Chisenhall has a magical Alex Gordon jump).

  • nj0

    Yeah, his bat is so good that it can make some sub-par defense not look so bad. It’s just a question of how sub-par it’ll be. I guess if Miggy could do it 3B, why not Carlos? I’m just not holding my breath.

  • nj0

    I completely agree. I love Carlos, so I hope this doesn’t sound like too much of a knock on him, but he’s had nearly a decade to learn catcher and hasn’t exactly wowed the baseball world there. The thought that he can pick 3B in one off-season? I know catcher is tough, but 3B is pretty demanding in its own ways…. And he doesn’t look all that rangey at 1B.

    And like you say, between 1B/C/DH, I’m sure we can get him into the lineup every day we want too.

    I also think you HAVE to give Chiz a chance this year. Short leash and all, especially if he’s terrible, but he still is only 25. And at this point, you’re only going to know what he can do with regular playing time at the major league level.

    I do wish we had a better back up plan though….