Catching upgrade, Rosario deal possible for Rockies

Catching upgrade, Rosario deal possible for Rockies

DENVER -- Starting pitching is the Rockies' top priority, but the team's strategy with its catching situation also is being watched closely.

General manager Jeff Bridich has said all along that the Rockies have two Major League catchers in starter Wilin Rosario and backup Michael McKenry, who earned increased playing time toward the end of last season. Both are eligible for arbitration. But the organization also has been discussing internally whether to go with a stronger defensive starter than Rosario, who possesses rare power at the position. Bridich also said that he would keep an eye on the developing free-agent market should the Rockies make a move -- and one such move would be dealing Rosario.

FOX Sports reported Wednesday that the Mariners and Rockies have discussed a deal, with Colorado outfielder Charlie Blackmon being mentioned prominently as a player Seattle would want. The Mariners have pitching prospect Taijuan Walker as a potential impact starter, and plenty of strong bullpen arms -- another area the Rockies will look to improve. Also, ESPN reported that the Rockies have "expressed interest" in free-agent catcher Nick Hundley.

Major League sources said Thursday that the Hundley is in the same category as several other catchers. Nothing will happen until the Rockies decide whether to deal Rosario. Hundley and potential targets Geovany Soto, David Ross and Jose Molina rated high among Major League catchers in the pitch-framing metric calculated by Stat Corner's website.

Thomas Harding is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Hardball in the Rockies, follow him on Twitter @harding_at_mlb, and like his Facebook page, Thomas Harding and Friends at www.Rockies.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.