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State of play: NL Catchers

Now that the Cincinnati Reds have signed Brayan Pena, what is the state of the catching situation in the National League?

Pena will have to leave behind the AL style of play, in which catchers position themselves on third base.
Pena will have to leave behind the AL style of play, in which catchers position themselves on third base.
Mike Ehrmann

The Cincinnati Reds signed backup catcher Brayan Pena on Friday, which leaves their previous backup, Ryan Hannigan, without an obvious job. These two players are not exactly the marquee names of the catching industry, but according to the Butterfly Effect, even the flapping wings of tiniest major leaguer can cause ripples throughout the rest of the world. Here is a look at the current catching landscape in the National League:

Team Catcher 1 Catcher 2 Notes
Arizona D'Backs Miguel Montero Open 2013 backup Wil Nieves is free agent; Tuffy Gosewisch (676 career minor-league OPS) is on 40-man roster.
Atlanta Braves Gerald Laird Open 2013 starter Brian McCann is a free agent; Laird has started in the past. Is 22-year-old Christian Bethancourt ready for majors?
Chicago Cubs Welington Castillo Open 2013 backup Dioner Navarro (856 OPS) is free agent.
Cincinnati Reds Devin Mesoraco Brayan Pena 2013 backup Ryan Hanigan is still under team control, so either he or Mesoraco are likely on the move.
Colorado Rockies Wilin Rosario Open 2013 backup Yorvit Torrealba is free agent. Rosario played 121 games last season but is a poor defender.
Los Angeles Dodgers A.J. Ellis Tim Federowicz Not spending enough money behind the plate. Would suggest signing Robinson Cano and converting him to catcher because Dodgers.
Miami Marlins Jeff Mathis Rob Brantly Please send help. (2013 Marlins catchers: 529 OPS)
Milwaukee Brewers Jonathan Lucroy Martin Maldonado Brewers are set with offensive-minded Lucroy and defensive specialist Maldonado.
New York Mets Travis D'Arnaud Anthony Recker 2013 starter John Buck is free agent. Top prospect D'Arnaud is ready for a shot in the bigs.
Philadelphia Phillies Open Open 2013 starter Carlos Ruiz is free agent; if team can't retain him, it will probably seek external help as in-house options (Rupp, Kratz, Valle, et al) are seen as backups.
Pittsburgh Pirates Russell Martin Michael McKenry Team appears set behind the dish heading into 2014.
San Diego Padres Nick Hundley Yasmani Grandal Grandal could miss start of 2014 after knee surgery, but could also move to starting role eventually.
San Francisco Giants Buster Posey Hector Sanchez Buster. They're set.
St. Louis Cardinals Yadier Molina Tony Cruz Yadier. They're set.
Washington Nationals Wilson Ramos Open 2013 backup, Kurt Suzuki, was traded midseason. Could use an upgrade over Jhonatan Solano as backup.

A (non-comprehensive) list of top free agents at the position:

- Brian McCann
- Carlos Ruiz
- Jarrod Saltalamacchia
- A.J. Pierzynski
- Jose Molina
- John Buck
- Dioner Navarro
- Kurt Suzuki
- Yorvit Torrealba
- Humberto Quintero
- Kelly Shoppach
- Ramon Hernandez
- Wil Nieves
Yenier Bello?
- Mike Napoli?

Mix and match the free agents with potential destinations in the comments!

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