The Indians are in agreement with veteran catcher Ryan Hanigan on a minor league contract, reports USA Today’s Bob Nightengale (Twitter links). The O’Connell Sports Management client will earn a $1.25MM base salary if he’s able to crack the Major League roster.
Hanigan, 37, spent the 2017 season in the Rockies organization, logging 33 games in the Majors and another 17 in Triple-A. He hit .267/.324/.347 with a pair of homers through 112 plate appearances in the Majors last year — numbers that are fairly representative of his overall skill set despite the small sample size. Hanigan has long displayed solid on-base skills, especially for a catcher, as evidenced by a career .344 on-base percentage and 11.2 percent walk rate. That walk rate has trended downward in recent seasons as his strikeout rate has risen correspondingly, however, and he’s never displayed much in the way of power.
The veteran Hanigan will give Cleveland a depth option, though he’s a ways down the depth chart. Both Yan Gomes and Roberto Perez are under guaranteed contracts after signing long-term deals with Cleveland in recent years, and the Indians also have one of the game’s top catching prospects, Francisco Mejia, looming in the upper minors.