4. Get a Competent Backup Catcher
Bo Naylor's only 23, but he already looks like the real deal behind the plate. In just 67 games last season, the rookie backstop slashed .237/.339/.470 with 11 homers, 32 RBIs and 5 steals over 230 plate appearances. The former first-round draft pick looks like a future star.
That said, even the best catchers can't play everyday. They need frequent rest, which makes having a solid No. 2 catcher so important.
Unfortunately, we failed mightily on that front in 2023, as every other catcher on the roster was a disaster. Mike Zunino, Cam Gallagher, Eric Haase, Zack Collins and Meibrys Viloria all got reps behind the plate as well, which shows just how bad our catching situation was.
That can't happen again in 2024. Our lineup already has too many black holes as it is, so we can't afford to have another one behind the plate on days when Naylor isn't playing. It would also be nice to have a veteran who can help mentor Naylor, step in if he gets hurt and give us some stability behind the plate.
Fortunately, backup catchers are usually pretty easy to find on the free agent market, and there's a solid crop of them this year. Yasmani Grandal, Austin Hedges, Mitch Garver, Gary Sanchez, Tom Murphy and Martin Maldonado are all quality options as far as backup catchers are concerned and will only cost a few million on a one-year deal. The key is picking the right one, of course, but almost anyone would be better than the motley crew we had last year.