Catcher Cameron Rupp has exercised his opt-out clause with the Rangers, as T.R. Sullivan of MLB.com reported (Twitter link) and the team has since announced. The Texas organization passed on adding Rupp to its MLB roster and has instead given him his release.
Rupp ought to generate interest in free agency, as there’s always a need for catching depth and he has quite a bit of recent MLB experience. He appeared in 274 games for the Phillies in the past three seasons, slashing a combined .236/.301/.417 with 39 home runs.
That power-heavy output is quite solid for a backstop. And Rupp has had no trouble squaring up the pitchers he has faced thus far at Triple-A.In his 125 plate appearances for Round Rock, he’s slashing .264/.328/.509 with seven long balls.
Though he graded poorly as a framer last year, he was within range of average in prior seasons. And Rupp has generally received solid marks in throwing and block. Though it’s hard to know exactly how organizations leaguewide view Rupp’s work behind the dish, it’s notable evidence that he was trusted with so much time by a Phillies organization that was bringing along some young hurlers over the past few years.
All things considered, there’s a case to be made that Rupp could sign directly onto a major-league roster. At a minimum, he should be widely pursued by teams that have any uncertainty at the MLB level and/or opportunity available at Triple-A. Rupp will also be eligible for arbitration at least two more times. He had agreed to a $2.05MM salary this year with the Philadelphia organization, which paid him a buyout of just over half a million dollars by cutting him loose late in camp.