Catching options available for Astros

With starting catcher Jason Castro likely out for the season, the Astros are looking for a replacement. They are going to take a long look at those in camp — Humberto Quintero, J.R. Towles and Carlos Corporan — and keep an eye on which players get cut as teams begin to pare their rosters in the coming weeks.

You can bet Astros general manager Ed Wade and his staff will begin looking outside the organization and talking to other teams about possible trades. Here are some catching options that might be available:

  • Ryan Doumit, Pirates: Doumit, who slid into a backup role when the Pirates acquired Chris Snyder, wants out of Pittsburgh and is being shopped because the Pirates don’t want to pay $5.1 million for a backup.  Pittsburgh would be willing to eat some salary if they can get a good package in return.
  • Brian Schneider, Phillies: He’s an 11-year veteran who’s serving as the backup this year in Philadelphia. He hit .240 with four homers and 15 RBIs in 125 at-bats last year. Wade and Phillies general manager Ruben Amaro Jr. have a history of making deals.
  • A.J. Ellis, Dodgers: He’s the third string behind Rod Barajas and Dioner Navarro and figures to start the season in Triple-A. He’s not a major prospect and the White Sox aren’t going to give him away.
  • Kelly Shoppach, Rays: The 30-year-old Fort Worth native is making only about $2 million this year and is two years removed from hitting 12 homers and driving in 40 runs.
  • Tyler Flowers, White Sox: He was in line to take over A.J. Pierzynski, who wound up signing a two-year deal. The White Sox have a lot of catching depth and acquired Flowers, 25, from the Braves as part of the Javier Vazquez deal in 2008.
  • Yankees: They’re catching rich in the farm system, but the Astros wouldn’t be looking for a prospect.

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