Aramis Garcia has been on the move quite a bit in recent years as he has made stops with the Texas Rangers, Oakland A's, and the Cincinnati Reds. However, he is on the move again as he was claimed off of waivers by the Baltimore Orioles.
Former SF Giants second round pick on the move again
Garcia was placed on waivers by the Reds earlier this week but he did not make it through thanks to the claim by the Orioles. The Giants originally drafted him in the second round of the 2014 draft out of Florida International University in Miami, Florida.
The backstop moved slowly up the minor league ladder as he suffered a concussion early in his minor league career. That said, he continued to flash impressive power while being a solid receiver behind the dish.
Garcia debuted with the Giants in 2018 where he had a very nice audition at the end of the year. In 65 plate appearances, he slashed .286/.308/.492 (119 OPS+) with four home runs, nine RBI, and eight runs.
However, it was tough for Garcia to establish himself in the majors as longtime Giants catcher Buster Posey was atop the depth chart. He was not able to follow up his impressive rookie campaign as he tallied a .527 OPS in just 46 plate appearances in 2019.
A change of scenery turned out to be the best choice for him to get an extended look. He was claimed off of waivers by Rangers in the 2020 offseason but he was shipped shortly thereafter to the Oakland A's in a swap of bad contracts involving Elvis Andrus and Khris Davis. With Oakland, Garcia continued to struggle at the plate but he caught on with the Reds last winter, which felt like a nice landing spot considering that they were scaling down payroll.
Despite moving to a hitter-friendly ballpark in Cincinnati, Garcia's bat has never fully came around. The right-handed bat registered a .213/.248/.259 line (38 OPS+) with just one home run, four RBI, and six runs in 115 plate appearances with the Reds in 2022.
Even though his offensive production was subpar, Garcia really proved to be an adept catcher. According to Baseball Prospectus' Catcher Defensive Adjustment (CDA), Garcia was worth +6.1 CDA, which ranked as 19th-best among qualified catchers.
CDA attempts to quantify pitch framing, blocking, and managing the running game into one metric. Based on this, Garcia derives some defensive value from pitch framing. Teams appear more willing than ever to overlook offensive production with a catcher in favor of one who excels at pitch framing and Garcia fits that mold.
At one point, Garcia was behind Buster Posey on the organization's depth chart. Now, he joins a Baltimore Orioles organization that has budding star catcher Adley Rutschman atop its depth chart.