Veteran catcher Bryan Holaday has exercised the opt-out clause in his minor-league deal with the Phillies, ESPN’s Jerry Crasnick tweets. The Phillies told Holaday he wouldn’t make the team’s Opening Day roster. The Phillies have also released veteran catcher Ryan Hanigan, tweets MLB.com’s Todd Zolecki. It therefore appears Andrew Knapp has made the team as the backup catcher to Cameron Rupp, as Matt Gelb of the Philadelphia Inquirer tweets.
The Phillies signed Holaday and Hanigan over the winter to provide veteran competition for youngsters Knapp and perhaps Jorge Alfaro. Holaday, though, played somewhat sparingly this spring, receiving just 24 at-bats even though he out-hit Knapp in a small sample. Hanigan hit even better and played even less. Of course, a catcher’s job is about far more than hitting, particularly over just a handful of games, and Knapp (the primary catcher at Triple-A Lehigh Valley last year) appeared to be the favorite for the job heading into camp.
The 29-year-old Holaday has appeared in parts of five big-league seasons, batting .245/.282/.346. He played for the Rangers and Red Sox last year. Hanigan, a ten-year veteran, also played for the Red Sox in 2016.