The Rangers have inked catcher Cameron Rupp to a minor-league deal, per a club announcement. He’ll head to Triple-A for now but can earn at a $1MM annual rate in the majors, Jon Heyman of Fan Rag tweets. Rupp is already receiving just over half a million dollars from the Phillies after he was released from his arbitration deal late this spring.
It’s not surprising to see this match, which made sense on paper and was previously suggested to be of actual interest to the Texas organization. If anything, it had seemed possible that Rupp might command a major-league roster spot upon signing, but he’ll instead settle for a minor-league placement that seems to leave him a good shot at making his way back to the majors before long.
Rupp, 29, has been a heavily used and plenty useful MLB backstop for the past three seasons. He’s not much of an on-base threat with the bat, but has good power and has carried an 86 wRC+ and swatted 39 home runs through 1,127 plate appearances at the game’s highest level.
Of course, offense isn’t everything, particularly for a catcher. Rupp had received roughly average framing grades before he turned southward in 2017. He has been solid in controlling the running game and handling balls in the dirt.
Rupp will be hoping to displace Juan Centeno as the second receiver in Texas. Centeno has a thinner track record in the big leagues, though he does offer some added platoon possibilities as a left-handed hitter. It certainly would not be surprising to see Rupp join starter Robinson Chirinos on the Rangers roster in relatively short order.