SF Giants announce Conforto signing, DFA Wynns

Colorado Rockies v San Francisco Giants
Colorado Rockies v San Francisco Giants / Thearon W. Henderson/GettyImages
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Nearly two weeks after Michael Conforto reportedly agreed to terms on a two-year, $36 million deal with the SF Giants, the organization announced the signing. In a corresponding roster move, veteran catcher Austin Wynns was designated for assignment per the team's transaction log.

SF Giants announce Conforto signing, DFA Wynns

Conforto missed all of the 2022 after undergoing shoulder surgery last winter. In 2021, the left-handed bat slashed .232/.344/.384 (100 OPS+) with 14 home runs, 55 RBI, and 52 runs in 479 plate appearances. This included a solid 12.3 percent walk rate against a 21.7 percent strikeout rate.

The 29-year-old has posted an .824 OPS in seven seasons with the New York Mets. And, he has eclipsed the 20-homer threshold three times in his career. His subpar 2021 numbers could be an outlier in a solid career up until this point.

The 40-man roster was full, so Wynns was placed on waivers. San Francisco acquired the veteran backstop from the Philadelphia Phillies in exchange for pitching prospect Michael Plassmeyer midway through last season.

At the time of the deal, the Giants were preparing to demote Joey Bart, so Wynns provided a veteran option behind Curt Casali. Wynns filled in nicely, slashing .259/.313/.358 (90 OPS+) with three home runs, 21 RBI, and 14 runs in 177 plate appearances for the Giants.

The 32-year-old got better as the season progressed as he posted an .894 OPS with two home runs across 47 plate appearances in the final month of the season.

Anyone who watched the Giants last season knows that they were a poor defensive team. Wynns was one of the few exceptions as he was worth +3.7 Catcher Defensive Adjustment (CDA) according to Baseball Prospectus. He graded out as an above-average framer with passable blocking and throwing skills while being the only Giants catcher with a positive CDA.

The four-year veteran hits just enough and flashes good defensive traits behind the plate, so he is a serviceable backup option. Given that he is not yet eligible for arbitration, a team in need of a backup could put in a claim on Wynns.

For the time being, Bart and Blake Sabol are the only catchers on the 40-man roster. They have added some versatile catching options recently, but backup catcher is typically a role that they can fill in spring training.

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