Dodgers Lose Two Minor League Catchers This Offseason


The Dodgers have yet to upgrade at catcher this offseason, and they have also lost minor league catcher Griff Erickson to the Padres. San Diego signed Erickson to a minor league deal last week. Most likely Logan White had a hand in this signing, and the Padres picked up even more catching depth.

San Diego is not exactly low on catching talent, and they already have two great catchers in Yasmani Grandal and Rene Rivera. They also have Austin Hedges in the wings who is one of the top catching prospects in baseball.

Erickson, the 26-year old switch-hitting catcher out of San Diego, has played eight seasons in the Dodgers farm system after being drafted in the 15th round of the 2006 draft. Last season, Griff played in 60 games for the Triple-A Isotopes and hit .297/.384/.510 with 7 homeruns and 29 RBIs.

I already have written about my concern when it comes to catching depth for the Dodgers. With the loss of Erickson, the Dodgers lose a solid catcher and it thins out the catching corps even more. The Dodgers potentially only have A.J. Ellis, Drew Butera and Tim Federowicz.  Johnny Monell also moved on from the Dodgers and signed a minor league deal with the Mets for 2015 with a non-roster invite to Spring Training.  Monell was acquired from the Orioles back in May by the Dodgers. After that there is Alberto Rosario, Chris O’Brien and J.C Boscan.

While I don’t think that Erickson would have made an impact at the Major League level for the Dodgers anytime soon, losing your Triple-A catcher is still a concern. The Dodgers will need to reinforce their catching situation this offseason even if that entails a trade.

Our late Senior Staff Writer Kenny Shulsen interviewed Griff Erickson from Camelback Ranch during Spring Training, and we found out that Erickson was a lifelong Dodger fan like us. It is sort of sad to see Erickson move on to a new team, and we wish him the best of luck.

I thought the switch-hitting catcher was a solid prospect for the Dodgers around the time Ned Colletti traded for Tim Federowicz in order to strengthen the Dodgers catching depth. Colletti traded Trayvon Robinson in order to find some catching, and the Dodgers may have to make a similar move to obtain a catcher this winter.

With two catchers lost to minor league free agency this winter, the Dodgers will have to make finding more catching a priority. Having extra catchers in Spring Training is also helpful in order to work out all the pitchers invited to camp. The Dodgers not only have a weak catching duo at the Major League level with poor offensive output coming from A.J. Ellis and Drew Butera, but now they have lost a couple of catchers who provide depth in the minors.

While Griff Erickson wasn’t a flashy prospect, he still could find a place with a big league team in the future. While other names get more attention this offseason, losing Erickson still merits a look since it affects the overall strength of the catchers within the organization. It would be nice if the Erickson signing preludes a deal which brought Yasmani Grandal to the Dodgers, but I’m not holding my breath on that one.