Veteran catcher to make the Opening Day roster for the SF Giants

Cleveland Indians v San Francisco Giants
Cleveland Indians v San Francisco Giants / Thearon W. Henderson/GettyImages

Veteran catcher Roberto Pérez had an opt-out decision looming but it turns out that will become a moot point. The SF Giants informed the nine-year veteran that he would be breaking camp with the club according to Evan Webeck of the Bay Area News Group.

Veteran catcher to make the Opening Day roster for the SF Giants

The Giants originally signed Pérez to a minor-league deal last month with a camp invite. There were no assurances that he would make the team but Giants manager Gabe Kapler labeled catcher an open competition when spring training began.

Joey Bart was penciled in to be the Opening Day starter and that is still likely the plan. That said, the Giants still have four catchers in camp including Pérez, Bart, Blake Sabol, and Austin Wynns. Sabol will likely begin the season in the outfield with Austin Slater (hamstring) and Mitch Haniger (oblique) both beginning the year in the injured list.

Though, he could move behind the dish when the Giants are facing right-handed pitching. Pérez could see time against left-handed pitching as he has posted a .747 OPS against lefties throughout his career.

Anything that Pérez offers on offense is a bonus. The veteran catcher is more known for his defense, which includes two Gold Glove awards at catcher in 2019 and 2020. He is an excellent framer and has flashed good blocking skills and a strong arm.

The Giants could use more of that as Wynns (+3.7 CDA) was the only catcher on the team to be rated as an above-average backstop in 2022 based on Baseball Prospectus' Defensive Catcher Adjustment (CDA).

Pérez tallied six hits, including one home run, in 23 at-bats during the Cactus League this spring. Plus, he has connected well with the pitchers.

The role of the catcher has evolved in recent years as teams are willing to overlook offensive performance if a catcher is regarded as a good backstop, especially in terms of framing. Pérez is that type of catcher. Though, it bears mentioning that he blasted 24 home runs in 2019.

The next step will be creating a roster spot for Pérez. The Giants could do so by transferring one of Luke Jackson, Luis González, or Thomas Szapucki to the 60-day injured list. This would open up a spot on the 40-man roster for the veteran catcher, who could carve out a nice role with the 2023 Giants.