The Texas Rangers didn't waste any time solidifying at least part of their catching position Tuesday. And why would they? Geovany Soto is a solid catcher for this team. He could be a backup if they sign a big-name free agent, or he can catch 100 games or so as the No. 1 guy.
For starters, he can be Yu Darvish's usual catcher in 2014 if he needs to be. That may depend largely on who is signed as the club's No. 1 catcher, but there's no question Darvish is comfortable with Soto. He has a calming influence on the pitcher.
To keep Soto, the club paid a reasonable price of $3.05 million (plus incentives). He threw out nearly 30 percent of attempted runners, and it wasn't as if teams thought they could steal on him with relative ease (that number was sixth in the league). Soto is a solid defensive catcher, and he appeared to find it a bit with the bat late in the season. He hit just .245 for the season, but .324 after the All-Star break. That should give him some offensive confidence heading into spring training.
And is it just me, or did it seem that every Soto hit in September was in a clutch situation?
If you're going to invest what the Rangers invested in Darvish, who has elite stuff, why not spend a little to be sure he fits well with his catcher? It's a smart, relatively inexpensive move.