MLB rumors: Giants 'poking around' on catchers before trade deadline

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Report: Giants 'poking around' on catchers before deadline originally appeared on NBC Sports Bayarea

In the post-Buster Posey era, Giants catchers haven’t exactly lit up the statsheet when it comes to offensive production.

And as the Aug. 2 trade deadline nears, San Francisco is toying with the idea of adding more roster depth behind the plate, ESPN’s Jeff Passan reported on Tuesday.

The Giants are “poking around on catching options,” per Passan, amid a season of uncertainty and near-average numbers from the position so far this year.

Joey Bart, who came into the season as Posey’s heir apparent and the team’s presumed answer at catcher, struggled to start the year and was sent down to Triple-A in June.

He returned to the big-league lineup on July 6 and is hitting .262/.311/.452 since then, boosting his season average from .156 to .189. While the adjustments he made in Triple-A have been evident at the plate, the Giants would like to ensure more production from the position to go along with those improvements, based on Passan’s report.

The Giants have relied on Curt Casali as well, and Austin Wynns, who they acquired in a trade with the Philadelphia Phillies on the same day Bart was optioned.

Wynns is hitting .221 with the Giants and has homered once in 68 at-bats. Casali is expected to return in early August after landing on the IL with a right oblique strain, but the catcher was slashing .231/.325/.370 before his injury.

Although the Giants have two catchers among their top 20 prospects with Patrick Bailey (No. 7) and Adrian Sugastey (No. 18), the future is far away.

The Giants were mentioned by Passan as he discussed potential landing spots for Willson Contreras, but they haven’t been directly connected to the Chicago Cubs catcher.

Contreras isn’t just the best catcher available but one of MLB’s best position players on the trade market. The three-time All-Star would be a rental on an expiring contract and is enjoying a career season with a .258/.374/.473 slash line and 14 home runs -- more than Bart, Casali and Wynns combined.

Contreras would be a big get for San Francisco, but there are other options at the position available, too.

RELATED: Report: Giants' NL rival seen as front-runner to land Soto

If the Athletics are willing to negotiate with their cross-Bay rivals, catcher Sean Murphy likely is someone Oakland is looking to move thanks to their catching depth in the minor leagues. The Athletic's Ken Rosenthal reported Sunday that the A's have received plenty of interest in Murphy but  "probably would need to be overwhelmed" by an offer to move him.

Murphy has 11 home runs for the A’s this season and is on fire in July, hitting .342 on the month. He would also provide Gold-Glove defense behind the dish and is under team control through 2025, becoming arbitration-eligible for the first time this winter.

Other catchers presumed to be available at the deadline either offer less or an equal amount of production the Giants currently see from the position (Cleveland GuardiansAustin Hedges, Detroit TigersTucker Barnhart) or are on the roster of a division rival (Colorado Rockies’ Elias Díaz).

But if Giants president of baseball operations Farhan Zaidi reportedly wants another catcher, who knows what he has up his sleeve.

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