SF Giants welcome back veteran catcher on a major league deal

Detroit Tigers v San Francisco Giants
Detroit Tigers v San Francisco Giants / Thearon W. Henderson/GettyImages

The SF Giants welcomed back Curt Casali on Wednesday, signing the veteran catcher to a major league deal according to the team's transaction log. He was immediately slotted into Wednesday's lineup.

SF Giants welcome back veteran catcher on a major league deal

To make room, Tom Murphy was transferred to the 60-day injured list with a knee sprain. This opened up space on the 40-man roster, but the Giants also optioned Jakson Reetz to Triple-A to make room on the active roster.

The Giants added Reetz to the 40-man roster earlier in the month with both Murphy and Patrick Bailey being unavailable. He recorded one hit in 12 at-bats, but that one hit was a home run against the Philadelphia Phillies. It was the first of his brief major league career.

The Giants know Casali well. He was non-tendered by the Cincinnati Reds after the 2020 season. The Giants scooped him up, assuming the remainder of his rookie contract.

He spent parts of two seasons with the Giants, including the historic 107-win season. It was an incredible season for a lot of reasons, but especially with how the team performed with Casali in the lineup. San Francisco posted a 54-23 record in games he appeared, but an even better 42-13 record when he started. Baseball is weird like that sometimes.

During his time with the Giants, Casali posted a .675 OPS while serving primarily as the team's backup catcher. He was shipped at the 2022 trade to the Seattle Mariners along with Matthew Boyd in a four-player swap.

Casali returned to the Reds for the 2023 season but struggled to the tune of a .490 OPS in 96 plate appearances before finishing the year on the injured list with a foot injury.

The 35-year-old was in camp with the Miami Marlins during spring training, but did not make the club and was released. He caught on with the Chicago Cubs where he registered a 1.039 OPS with two home runs and 11 RBI and 88 Triple-A appearances.

The 10-year veteran opted out of his deal with Chicago on Tuesday to rejoin the Giants. He still is passable behind the dish and has proven to reach base at an acceptable rate. Plus, he is a veteran presence and that still holds value. For now, Casali will handle the catching duties with Blake Sabol until Patrick Bailey returns.