The Cardinals reassigned Heineman on Sunday. As anticipated, the Cardinals will begin the season with Andrew Knizner as their No. 2 catcher behind Yadier Molina, leaving no room for Heineman on the 26-man roster. Heineman served as the Giants' Opening Day catcher last season, but he was cast off the 40-man roster in November after slashing .190/.292/.214 across his 50 plate appearances during the abbreviated 60-game campaign.
Heineman signed a minor-league contract with the Cardinals on Friday as a non-roster invitee. Heineman appeared in 15 major-league contests with the Giants during the 2020 season, but he failed to generate much production, slashing .190/.292/.214 with a double and one RBI. The 29-year-old will get to work with the major-league coaching staff during spring training as he prepares to join his third team in as many seasons.
The Giants declared Heineman a free agent Sunday, Chris Hilburn-Trenkle of Baseball America reports. Heineman served as the Giants' Opening Day catcher, but he was unseated by Chadwick Tromp for the top job by midseason before both backstops fell behind top prospect Joey Bart in the pecking order. With Buster Posey (personal) poised to return from the restricted list to join Bart as the Giants' catching options in 2021, San Francisco outrighted Heineman off the 40-man roster over the weekend. He'll now be free to join another organization that's looking to shore up its depth behind the dish.
Heineman was outrighted to Triple-A Sacramento on Sunday, Maria I. Guardado of MLB.com reports. The Giants will bump Heineman off the 40-man roster as free agency officially opens. The 29-year-old backstop has a .208 average and one home run in 62 MLB plate appearances over the past two seasons.
Heineman was recalled from the alternate training site Tuesday. The 29-year-old will rejoin the Giants for the closing stretch of the season with the placement of Chadwick Tromp (shoulder) on the injured list. Heineman will serve as the team's secondary catcher behind rookie Joey Bart.