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Might SF Giants might still be in the market for this position?

Andrew Haynes
Joey Bart
Joey Bart / Lachlan Cunningham/GettyImages
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For months, the SF Giants have been publicly preparing for Joey Bart to take over as their primary catcher following the retirement of Buster Posey following the 2021 season.

With just a few weeks to go before Opening Day, however, another Giants beat reporter thinks the team may still be looking for a veteran backstop to split time with Curt Casali and give Bart more experience in the minor leagues.

In an interview with Murph and Mac on KNBR Friday morning, Susan Slusser, the San Francisco Chronicle beat writer covering the Giants, made the comment that while Bart "looks good" and has a fantastic attitude, she's "still not convinced that the Giants are done" with the catcher position, and that "they're probably still looking for a Major League-experienced catcher to go along with Casali."

Bart, a heralded #2 overall draft pick in 2018 out of Georgia Tech, has long been seen as the heir to Posey behind the plate in San Francisco. He hit well rising through the farm system in 2018 and 2019 but was forced into action in the Majors when Posey sat out the pandemic-shortened 2020 season. That year, Bart batted just .233 with a .609 OPS and no home runs in 103 at-bats - far from what was expected considering his pedigree as a potential plus power hitter.

He returned to the minor leagues for 2021 and swung the bat well despite dealing with injuries off and on at Triple-A Sacramento, putting up a .294/.358/.472 slash line with 10 round trippers in 67 games. Bart also filled in for two games in the big leagues, stroking two singles in six at-bats.

So far in Spring Training, Bart has one hit (a homer) in five at-bats over three games.

One possible SF Giants catching target plays just across the Bay

Slusser went on to say people are questioning whether the right thing to do, with a team expecting to be in contention to defend their 2021 National League West division title, would be to go into the season with the inexperienced Bart behind the plate. She said it looks like there are catchers available for trade and she's "certainly sure that the Giants are looking" in that area - with Oakland A's backstop Sean Murphy a possibility.

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