Tampa Bay Rays Acquire Catcher Kelly Shoppach for PTBNL

We've confirmed the deal is done with a 40-man move forthcoming.

Shoppach is 29-years-old, he'll turn 30 early next season, and former top prospect with the Boston Red Sox. Throughout his Major League career - mostly with Cleveland - he's racked up 1,043 plate appearances with a.241/.327/.449 line and .338 wOBA -- a catcher hitting above league average is pretty impressive. Most of those plate appearances have come in the last two seasons, where he's hit .241/.342/.465 with 33 homers. He knows how to take a walk and he knows how to hit for some power. Throughout his career he's tormented left-handed pitching, batting for a .999 OPS in a small sample size of 258 plate appearances.

He's a hitter, first and foremost, with a career caught stealing rate around 27% and roughly 0.26 passed balls/wild pitches per game. For comparison, Dioner Navarro has a 30% thievery-catching rate and averages 0.29 PB+WP/G. There's more to catching than simply throwing and blocking, but Shoppach appears to have the edge in blocking and beats Navarro in the whole "hitting the ball" aspect. Driveline Mechanics had him in the lower-half of defensive catchers.

Shoppach is arbitration eligible and made $1.95M last season. He'll probably receive a raise, and he is eligible to become a free agent following the 2011 season.

Welcome to the team Kelly, do us proud.

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