The Phillies have signed catcher Ryan Hanigan to a minor-league deal, per a club announcement. Included in the deal is an invitation to MLB camp this spring. He can earn $1.25MM if he makes the major league roster, with $375K in available incentives, per SB Nation’s Chris Cotillo (via Twitter). He’ll also receive a March 28th opt-out date, Jon Heyman of Fan Rag tweets.
Hanigan hit the open market when the Red Sox declined a $3.75MM club option after the 2016 campaign. Long valued for his high-contact approach at the plate and solid defensive skills, Hanigan deteriorated in both regards in 2016 while battling injuries.
Now 36, Hanigan posted an anemic .171/.230/.238 batting line over his 113 plate appearances last year. Though he typically draws free passes as much or more than he strikes out, Hanigan uncharacteristically took just seven walks while going down on strikes 27 times. And in the field, Baseball Prospectus and StatCorner both panned his pitch framing.
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Still, it’s an easy gamble for the Phils to take. The organization is expected to utilize Cameron Rupp as the starter after his strong 2016 effort, and has several young receivers in the upper levels of the minors. Rather than rush them along, though, it can compete the reserve job between Hanigan and fellow minor-league signee Bryan Holaday.