The San Francisco Giants have been searching for a backup to Buster Posey for the entirety of the offseason, and they have finally found one in Nick Hundley.
The San Francisco Giants have signed veteran catcher Nick Hundley to a one-year, $2M major-league contract. According to Andrew Baggarly, Hundley has passed a physical and the club will officially announce the signing later today.
Outside of a 50-game stint with the Baltimore Orioles, Hundley has played his entire career in the NL West, spending seven seasons with the San Diego Padres and two seasons with the Colorado Rockies. Since his debut in 2008, the 33-year-old has a career slash line of .250/.303/.404 with a wRC+ of 90.
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Hundley has operated as Colorado’s primary catcher since signing a two-year deal with the ballclub prior to 2015. Last season, Hundley hit .260/.320/.439 along with 10 home runs in 83 games last season, but battled a strained left oblique and a concussion along the way.
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The veteran catcher likely addresses San Francisco’s lack of a right-handed power bat off the bench. In the past two seasons combined, the Giants have only had one pinch-hit home run from a right-handed batter.
While Hundley will ease Posey’s workload a season after the MVP totaled career highs in innings caught and games started, Bobby Evans still expects Posey to catch a majority of games. Posey has statistically been the best defensive catcher in baseball in the past two seasons, and the Giants are clearly a better plate with him behind the dish.
With the signing of Hundley, Trevor Brown will start the season in Triple-A. Brown was a serviceable backup in his rookie season, slashing .237/.283/.364 with five home runs, and pitchers reportedly enjoyed throwing to him, but San Francisco values Hundley’s bat more than Brown’s glove.
Starting the season with the Sacramento River Cats will allow Brown to further develop rather than remaining stagnant on the bench. Considering the Hundley deal is only one year, Brown may once again claim the backup catcher position once again.
To clear room for Hundley on the 40-man roster, the San Francisco Giants have designated Ehire Adrianza for assignment. The move comes as a bit of a shock as Adrianza’s glove and steadily improving bat makes him a valuable commodity, but San Francisco necessity for another catcher took precedent over their plethora of middle infielders.