Giants Sign Catcher Curt Casali, Which is a Reminder That, Oh Yeah, the Cubs Are Looking at Back-Up Catchers

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Giants Sign Catcher Curt Casali, Which is a Reminder That, Oh Yeah, the Cubs Are Looking at Back-Up Catchers

Chicago Cubs

Oh yeah, the Cubs are in the back-up catcher market. Gotta remember that now that Victor Caratini has been traded to the Padres.

With that in mind, and with Jed Hoyer suggesting that the Cubs would be looking at options externally (i.e., not necessarily handing the job to P.J. Higgins or Taylor Gushue), it’s worth tracking where the various back-up options go and how much they make. That’s particularly true when considering how tight things are, when considering that the Cubs might wind up moving starter Willson Contreras, and when considering that the Cubs have already been attached to Jason Castro.

So it’s worth mentioning that one of the better back-up options just went off the market, signing with the Giants on a $1.5 million deal.

Casali, 32, was with the Reds the last few years, and was something more than just a back-up, but something less than a regular starter. He hit extremely well for a back-up catcher in those three years (.260/.345/.440, 106 wRC+), and paired the offense with average framing and defense.

That is to say, if Casali is getting only $1.5 million right now, the market for back-up catchers is not especially overheated. Mike Zunino is the only other back-up-type catcher to sign so far this offseason, and the 29-year-old elite defender got $3 million from the Rays. Historically, guys like that would often get two-year deals in the $3 to $6 million range.

Others back-up types on the market, in addition to Castro, include Alex Avila, Tyler Flowers, Robinson Chirinos, Tony Wolters, Matt Wieters, and more. It’s not a bad time to need a veteran back-up.



Author: Brett Taylor

Brett Taylor is the Editor and Lead Cubs Writer at Bleacher Nation, and you can find him on Twitter at @BleacherNation and @Brett_A_Taylor.