The Phillies have added backstop Bryan Holaday on a minor-league deal with a MLB Spring Training invitation, per a club announcement, as had been reported over the weekend. The 29-year-old was non-tendered earlier in the winter by the Red Sox after being projected by MLBTR to earn $900K in arbitration.
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Holaday will reunite with fellow former Boston player Clay Buchholz in camp for the Phils, with both officially joining the organization today. Of course, the catcher will cost the team quite a bit less than did the pitcher, who is earning $13.5MM for the 2017 season.
Last year with the Rangers and Red Sox, Holaday hit .231/.281/.359 and contributed two home runs over 129 trips to the plate. Clearly, it’s his defensive work rather than his bat which earned him time in the majors in each of the last five seasons. Holaday never hit much in the minors, and owns a meager .245/.282/.346 career MLB line in 411 plate appearances.
While the Phils have several young catchers in the upper ranks of their farm system, it could be that the organization prefers to utilize a veteran as the primary reserve behind presumptive starter Cameron Rupp. While additional competition could be brought in later in the winter, Holaday seems to have a solid chance at making the big league club as things stand.