The SF Giants lost a fan favorite on Tuesday when Atlanta claimed catcher Chadwick Tromp off waivers. The Giants designated Tromp for assignment last week to open up a 40-man roster spot, which put him at risk of being claimed by all other MLB teams. Atlanta immediately optioned Tromp to Gwinett, their Triple-A affiliate.
Tromp was signed as a minor league free agent heading into 2020 and was thrust into the everyday job after Buster Posey opted out of the season due to COVID-19 concerns. Tromp flashed some power and played solid defense behind the plate but hit just .213/.219/.426 with four home runs in 64 plate appearances and was eventually pushed into a backup job by top prospect Joey Bart.
The Giants originally non-tendered Tromp, making him a free agent despite a compelling case to retain him on a big-league contract. However, a few days later, the Giants turned around and re-signed him to an MLB deal.
With Posey back in the fold this season, alongside offseason signing Curt Casali, Tromp was pushed to Triple-A where he once again split time with Bart. Tromp still received some short MLB stints this season, blasting a home run and posting a .222/.222/.389 line in 18 plate appearances. However, in the hitter-friendly Triple-A West, he hit just .224/.265/.380.
An above-average defensive catcher with some pop, Tromp has the potential to have a long big-league career as a backup. If he can improve on his pitch selection, which is well below-average, he might be able to carve out an even larger role one day.
Atlanta is set at catcher this year, with top prospect William Contreras and veteran Travis d’Arnaud splitting time behind the plate. However, the remaining catchers on the 40-man roster are all slated for free agency, which could give Tromp an inside track to be the primary backup next season.
While Chadwick Tromp’s tenure with the SF Giants was short, the Aruba-native made quite an impression with fans. Now he’ll look to continue his MLB career in Atlanta.