Report: White Sox have interest in Rays' catcher Lobaton

Report: White Sox have interest in Rays' catcher Lobaton
December 3, 2013, 5:30 pm
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The White Sox reportedly might add another catcher after a flurry of major league trade activity on Tuesday potentially freed up a target.

The White Sox have inquired with the Tampa Bay Rays about the availability of catcher Jose Lobaton, per a Tampa Bay Times report.

Lobaton — who had a .249/.320/.394 line with seven homers and 32 RBIs in 311 plate appearances last season — might have caught his last game for the Rays, who have acquired a pair of catchers in the last two weeks.

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Tampa, which re-signed Jose Molina on Nov. 24, landed Ryan Hanigan on Tuesday in a three-team deal with the Cincinnati Reds and Arizona Diamondbacks.

The White Sox signed Tyler Flowers to a one-year, $950,000 deal on Monday night and also have Josh Phegley under contract. The team could have elected to make Flowers a free agent, but general manager Rick Hahn said at the GM meetings last month the front office believes both Flowers and Phegley have better days ahead. Flowers had a .195/.247/.355 line with 10 home runs and 24 RBIs in 275 plate appearances last season.

Hahn has said one of the team’s many tasks this offseason is to upgrade at catcher, where the team’s .560 OPS last season ranked 29th of 30 teams.

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The production from that position, as well as many other positions hasn't met what we need,” Hahn said. “Either the guys we have improve or we want to go with somebody outside the organization, so we'll see how the next few months unfold."

Lobaton, 29, has appeared in 191 games, the bulk of which were played with the Rays. He also played in seven games for the San Diego Padres in 2009.