In hindsight, I probably shouldn’t have started my San Francisco Giants 2023 position previews by writing about the one position that had the least security. And indeed, just a few days after I wrote about how we don’t know the Giants plan at catcher, the team reportedly signed veteran Roberto Pérez.
This admittedly doesn’t change anything. If I rewrote that article today, I would still have just as much confusion as to what the Giants will do, I’d just have a fourth name to write about after mentioning Joey Bart, Austin Wynns, and Blake Sabol.
Because while Pérez might be the favorite to break camp alongside Bart, he’s by no means a sure thing. Injuries have greatly slowed down his game, as the 34 year old played just 21 games last season, and 44 in 2021.
But when he is healthy, he can provide tremendous value, as he won the American League Gold Glove award in both 2019 and 2020. He’s subpar with the bat, sporting a career .207/.298/.360 slash line, and has been an above average hitter just once in his career, per OPS+. Yet thanks to his strong defense (and low offensive standards for catchers), Fangraphs has pegged him for 9.4 WAR in his nine-year career.
Here’s hoping Pérez is fully recovered from the hamstring injury that shut down his 2022 season, because he could prove to be a critical signing for the Giants.
And just in time, as pitchers and catchers report in 16 days!