2015 Outlook: Wait, so you mean to tell me Navarro's inexplicable 1.123 OPS with six home runs in 71 PA against lefties in 2013, after seven seasons of a combined .703 OPS, wasn't sustainable? Weird. It was enough to earn him a full season of play in Toronto last season, but all that did was expose just how fluky his 2013 was, as he managed fewer total home runs, despite getting just about double the playing time. On the positive side, he did rake in his new home with a .300/.333/.456 slash line and nine of his 12 home runs coming at Rogers Centre. Despite Russell Martin's coming in to take over the catching duties, Navarro is penciled in to be the primary DH for the Blue Jays, so that favorable ballpark remains an asset. Slot him in as a second catcher for long homestands or as a cheap backstop when you want to save money in daily games.
2015 Outlook: After playing for three teams in two years between 2012 and 2013, Suzuki rode a surprising, career year with the Twins to his first All-Star appearance and a two-year, $12 million extension. However, more of the same is unlikely to come, considering Suzuki's .288 average in 2014 was buoyed by a .310 BABIP, a fairly large difference from the veteran's career .274 mark. Suzuki could still be valuable, given how he lowered his strikeout rate to 9.1 percent, his lowest since 2010, and considering the Twins will still want to keep him near the middle of the order to rack up RBIs. He's getting up there in years and could be in for some regression, but Suzuki's 2014 shows he still has the potential to deliver a strong bat to pair with his decent defensive game.
2015 Outlook: Castillo is a catcher potentially out of a position, given the Cubs' acquisition of Miguel Montero and David Ross, which means Chicago will either roll with three catchers or send Castillo away, either to the minors or in a trade. The 27-year-old provides a decent bat for a catcher, having slashed .256/.324/.400 for his career, but also adds defense that has been questioned in the past. It's very unlikely the Cubs would trade for Montero or sign Ross to a two-year deal and immediately send one away, so Castillo's 2015 team is likely to be determined. Fantasy-wise, he brings OK value to the table if he sees the field enough, as he hit 13 home runs and drove in 46 in 2014 despite a .239 batting average.
2015 Outlook: Rivera took over for the disappointing Yasmani Grandal with the Padres in 2014 and performed well, posting a good-for-a-catcher .252/.319/.432 line while supplying very strong defense. Shipped away to Tampa Bay in the blockbuster Wil Myers trade, Rivera is now poised to possibly start for the Rays. The 31-year-old Rivera will split starts with John Jaso, who is a superior hitter to Rivera but clearly an inferior defender. Rivera will get the vast majority of starts while Jaso slides over to the DH position, meaning he is very likely to supply good value from the catcher position, assuming his surprisingly good hitting from the past two years holds up as he moves deeper into his 30s.
2015 Outlook: Phegley spent the majority of 2014 at the Triple-A level, but he will have an opportunity to play a key role in the big leagues in 2015. He will likely spend most of the year in a reserve role, but with Stephen Vogt recovering from offseason foot surgery, the 27-year-old Phegley could possibly be looked at as the team's primary backstop in the early goings of the season. He put up a slash line of .274/.331/.530 in 107 Triple-A games last season while flashing his power with 23 home runs and 75 RBI. He has struggled to maintain his minor-league success in limited action in the majors, carrying just a .207/.221/.332 line with 52 strikeouts and just five walks in 76 career big league games. Even if he does eventually move into a reserve role, Phegley could work his way into a platoon with the left-handed hitting Vogt.
2015 Outlook: Currently a free agent, Soto has been a serviceable hitter at catcher for the past couple of years and could land in several places if he's willing to take a low-commitment deal. The former Rookie of the Year is now 31 and can either be a premium backup or low-ceiling starter for certain teams. He was able to cut down from his astronomical 32.6 percent strikeout rate in 2013 to a better, but still high, 21.8 percent. That should be encouraging for potential buyers, as it reduces the likelihood of the batting-average free fall that can sometimes hit high-strikeout veterans. We won't know Soto's role or the number of starts he gets until he signs with a team, so a true outlook will have to wait until he puts pen to paper.
2015 Outlook: Hanigan was the starter for the Reds as recently as 2012, but he eventually gave way to Devin Mesoraco and landed a backup spot in Tampa Bay. He now finds himself in Boston, backing up Christian Vazquez. The 34-year-old isn't likely to push Vazquez for a starting job unless Vazquez's bat fails enough to land him back in the minors, so Hanigan's fantasy upside is pretty low. He has hit just .208 in his past two seasons combined and isn't especially known for his defense. His experience does probably carry some value for the Red Sox, considering how they have recently prioritized a strong clubhouse environment, but that does little for his fantasy value.
2015 Outlook: Joseph is a minor league veteran who was thrust into the Orioles' lineup after Matt Wieters' elbow injury required Tommy John surgery. With Wieters still in recovery going into 2015, Joseph will likely remain the starter behind the plate for a while. Steve Clevenger will serve as backup until Wieters comes back. Joseph presents limited offensive upside, hitting a lackluster .207/.264/.354 in 2014, rates that were in line with expectations from his time in the minors. He did hit a home run in five consecutive games, but that was an outlier in an otherwise mediocre season. When Wieters is healthy again, Joseph will head back to the backup spot, which is probably where he belongs.
2015 Outlook: Arencibia hasn't surpassed the Mendoza line since 2012, and he's not likely to break that streak in 2015. The 29-year-old has posted horrific strikeout rates his entire career and doesn't do much else to avoid the low batting averages that come with them. He carries a little intrigue as a fantasy option because he is still capable of reaching double digits in home runs from the catcher position if he gets enough starts, but the question is if the Orioles see him as even close to viable in the majors. He will likely stick in the minors, and is probably behind at least Matt Wieters and Caleb Joseph on the depth chart. If he does hit the majors, his power should play well in Camden Yards.
2015 Outlook: Murphy served as the backup catcher to Brian McCann when Francisco Cervelli went down with a hamstring injury in mid-April, posting a .286/.308/.365 batting line, with one home run and eight RBI in 63 at-bats before he was sent down in June upon Cervelli's return. He returned to the team in September as the third catcher, and finished the season slashing .284/.318/.370, with one home run and nine RBIs in 81 at-bats. Despite the respectable numbers, Murphy has some concerning stats heading into 2015. For starters, his strikeout rate (25.9 percent), walk rate (4.9 percent) and contact rate (73 percent) were all poor. Add to that an extremely high BABIP (.379) and poor power numbers (.370 slugging percentage), and Murphy doesn't appear to be as attractive an option behind the plate as his batting line would suggest. He figures to be the favorite to once again serve as the team's backup behind McCann in 2015, but could face competition for the spot from Austin Romine.
2015 Outlook: Conger regressed from a promising 2013, hitting .221/.293/.325 and failing to challenge the veteran Chris Iannetta for more starts. Now, Conger has landed in Houston after being traded for two players and will back up Jason Castro and factor into the Astros' new wave of youth. Castro's recent struggles on offense combined with trade rumors mean Conger could very well take the starting job. Fellow catchers Carlos Corporan and Max Stassi are also waiting in the wings, but Conger will likely retain the major league backup spot for now. There is still some offensive development for Conger to accomplish before he becomes a viable option for everyday play, but his pitch framing has been measured as very good, and the Astros are known for being patient with young players.