MLB Player News
Alex Avila signed a one-year, $2.5 million deal with the Chicago White Sox on Wednesday, Jon Heyman of CBS Sports reports.
The 28-year-old struggled mightily last season for Detroit, hitting just .191 with four home runs, 13 RBI and 66 strikeouts in 67 games. Despite the poor season, the White Sox will take a low-risk chance on Avila, and he figures to team with Tyler Flowers to form Chicago's catching tandem in 2016.
Geovany Soto signed a one-year deal with the Los Angeles Angels on Tuesday.
The Angels were never expected to make a big splash at catcher this offseason, in part because there were no big names available in free agency and they lacked the prospects to acquire one in a trade. Soto slashed .219/.301/.406 with nine home runs and a 30 percent K-rate in 210 plate appearances with the White Sox last season. He will split time with Carlos Perez, and should be seen as a fringe option in two-catcher formats and AL-only leagues.
Audry Perez signed a minor league deal with the Baltimore Orioles on Tuesday, MASN's Roch Kubatko reports.
The 26-year-old catcher has played in just three MLB games, but he will get a chance to make an impression on the big league coaching staff after receiving an invite to spring training. He hit .243 with two home runs at Triple-A last year.
Chris Iannetta joined the Seattle Mariners on Monday as the team's primary catcher heading into spring training, Bob Dutton of the News Tribune reports.
Originally it was expected that Iannetta would be battling with Mike Zunino as the Mariners' primary catcher but general manager Mike Dipoto says Iannetta will be used as the team's primary catcher. Dipoto and Ianetta were together in Los Angeles which explains why he appears higher on him heading into 2016.
John Hicks was designated for assignment by the Seattle Mariners on Monday, Ryan Divish of the Seattle Times reports.
After the Mariners signed Chris Iannetta, a move had to be made to make a spot available on the 40-man roster, and Hicks was the guy who was chosen to be sent down.
Chris Iannetta signed a one-year deal with the Seattle Mariners on Monday.
The signing of Iannetta will put him alongside Jesus Sucre as the Mariners' two primary catchers going into the 2016 season. The move also brought Seattle to outright Josh Hicks to make room for Iannetta on the 40-man roster.
Humberto Quintero signed a minor-league deal with the Toronto Blue Jays on Friday, John Lott of the National Post reports.
The deal does guarantee a spring training invite, but it remains to be seen if the backup catcher will be able to earn a spot on the Blue Jays roster after spending all of last season with Boston's Triple-A affiliate, slashing .257/.284/.354 in 288 at-bats.
Jose Briceno was traded to the Los Angeles Angels on Thursday, Tim Brown of Yahoo! Sports reports.
Briceno was included in the package with Andrelton Simmons that brought Erick Aybar and the Angels' top two pitching prospects to Atlanta. The 23-year-old began his professional career as a 19-year-old, but his hitting has tapered off since his hot start, as he only slashed .183/.215/.267 with High-A Carolina. Brice hasn't played a game above Singe-A, but he might get more looks in the Angels' system if he can pick it up at the plate.
Gary Sanchez is well positioned to be the New York Yankees ' backup catcher in 2016 after John Ryan Murphy was traded to the Twins in exchange for Aaron Hicks on Wednesday.
Sanchez has 20-plus homer upside and the arm to stick behind the plate, so if something were to happen to Brian McCann, he could be useful in most formats. The Yankees may opt to keep Sanchez at Triple-A so that he can get regular at-bats, but he should be seen as the No. 2 catcher on the organizational depth chart at this point.
Kurt Suzuki will likely find himself in a spring training battle for the starting catcher job now that the Minnesota Twins have acquired John Ryan Murphy from the Yankees in exchange for Aaron Hicks.
As the incumbent Suzuki may be perceived to have a bit of an advantage, but Murphy had the edge in batting average, OBP, slugging percentage, wOBA, and wRC+ last season, so as long as the Twins view the defense as comparable, Suzuki could see a noticeable dip in playing time.