SF Giants News: Veteran catcher and 2-time Gold Glove winner agrees to deal
There is no word yet as to whether it is a major league deal or a minor league contract. If it is a guaranteed pact, then San Francisco will need to make a corresponding roster move given that the 40-man roster is full.
Pérez is a relatively accomplished catcher, so it would not be surprising if it was a maior league deal considering that the Boston Red Sox had "made an aggressive bid."
The veteran backstop debuted with the Cleveland Guardians in 2014. He is certainly a glove-first catcher as the right-handed bat has slashed .207/.298/.360 (75 OPS+) with a 10.8 percent walk rate against a 29.7 percent strikeout rate in nine seasons.
This does include a solid 2019 campaign in which Pérez tallied a .774 OPS with 24 home runs in 449 plate appearances.
His value comes from his work behind the plate. Pérez won consecutive Gold Gloves in 2019 and 2020 and the numbers support those honors. According to Baseball Prospectus, the 34-year-old was worth +11.7 Catcher Defensive Adjustment (CDA) and +2.1 CDA in 2019 and 2020, respectively.
The defensive metrics view his framing very favorably. When he won the Gold Glove in 2019, Pérez was been worth +10.3 Framing Runs, which is the seventh-best mark in baseball. This is especially noteworthy given that the Giants were middle of the pack in terms of framing according to Baseball Savant.
Pérez's offensive limitations represent a tradeoff that many teams are willing to make with catchers in today's game. If catchers rate positively with the glove, especially in terms of framing, the team can generally overlook a subpar bat.
The Giants add an experienced catcher in Pérez to a group of lightly experienced backstops. Prior to the signing, the top three catchers on the depth chart include Joey Bart, Blake Sabol, and Austin Wynns. Wynns was outrighted off of the 40-man roster recently, whereas Sabol has limited experience above Double-A.
Bart produced mixed results in 2022 in his first extended look in the majors. However, the addition of Pérez could push Bart for playing time in 2023, but more than likely, he brings an experienced skill set to the table. Catcher was one area that the Giants needed to address in some way this offseason and they have seemingly checked that box.