The San Francisco Giants are adding some depth at the catcher position, as they announced the signing of veteran backstop Curt Casali on Monday. It’s a one-year, $1.5 million Major League deal for Casali.
It creates a bit of an interesting situation at catcher, as the Giants had only recently re-signed catcher Chadwick Tromp to a Major League deal, and will be welcoming back Buster Posey. It’s hard to see them carrying three catchers on what will presumably be a 26-player roster, especially since Posey is still viewed as an everyday player.
And it certainly doesn’t make the path easy for top prospect Joey Bart, who made his MLB debut in 2020. Those questions will answer themselves over the next few months.
For those asking about Bart, Giants have been very clear about fact they want him to get more minor league reps. Casali contract backs that up. Can earn $500,000 for being on opening day roster, if he's not he can earn bonuses for days on active roster.— Alex Pavlovic (@PavlovicNBCS) January 4, 2021
Casali — who was born in nearby Walnut Creek — had a stellar 2020 with the Cincinnati Reds, hitting .224/.366/.500, with 6 home runs, 14 walks, and 29 strikeouts in 93 plate appearances. The 32 year old had an .866 OPS, a 131 wRC+, and was worth 0.7 fWAR.
He’s a very solid addition to the team, and will certainly give the Giants a better option for 2021 should something happen to Posey. Perhaps we’ll also see him occasionally at first base, where he’s played 37 career innings.
And in awesome news, Casali gets to play alongside his great friend, Mike Yastrzemski.
Casali and Mike Yastrzemski are best friends, former Vandy teammates and lived together while the sport was on hiatus last year. This wasn’t a tough sell for the Giants, in other words. Now the Vandy posse includes Casali, Yaz, Sam Selman and Tyler Beede.— Andrew Baggarly (@extrabaggs) January 4, 2021