Given the news that David Ross is close to signing a 2 yr/$3.5 million deal with Atlanta, our FA catching options are down to an apparent two: Gregg Zaun and Paul Bako. Both are ex-Astros, and both are in the twilight of their careers.
Zaun has better career numbers, and next season should be no exception. His Marcel projected line is (330 AB): .242/.333/.397 with 10 HR, 45 BB/57 K
Bako's Marcel projection for 2009 (345 AB): .223/.295/.322 with 6 HR, 34 BB/97 K
J.R. Towles' line looks like (254 AB): .232/.317/.378 with 7 HR, 26 BB/52 K
Humberto Quintero comes in at (269 AB): .249/.307/.361 with 5 HR, 18 BB/54 K
After striking out 40 times in 146 ABs this season, J.R.'s expected total of 52 in 254 ABs is a welcome sign of progress. Quintero won't get on base as much, or hit for much power, but his numbers are better than the veteran Bako's. Zaun is right at the average RC/27 for major league catchers (4.54 projected for Zaun vs. an average of about 4.75), with Towles coming in second from this group at 4.06. We'll see what happens, but at least one projection method lends credence to a possible signing of Gregg Zaun.