The Rangers have agreed to a minor league pact with catcher Jett Bandy, reports Gerry Fraley of the Dallas Morning News. He’ll add a bit of catching depth to the Texas system after the Rangers’ surprising decision to move on from catcher Robinson Chirinos.
Bandy, 28, has spent the past two seasons in the Brewers organization after Milwaukee acquired him in the trade that sent Martin Maldonado to the Angels. Bandy, a former 31st-round pick, was with the Halos for the entirety of his career prior to that swap.
Bandy showed some decent pop in his limited big league time with the Angels, swatting nine homers and nine doubles through his first 233 big league plate appearances in 2015-16. That came on the heels of a solid .291/.347/.466 showing through 344 Triple-A appearances in 2015 (albeit in the hitter-friendly Pacific Coast League), so it’s understandable how the Brewers would’ve been optimistic that he could hit enough to hold down a roster spot. That, however, simply didn’t happen with the Brewers. Bandy’s two seasons in Milwaukee were disappointing, as he struggled to a .202/.282/.326 batting line through 259 trips to the plate.
To his credit, Bandy has thrown out 31 of 98 runners who’ve attempted to steal on him in the Majors (32 percent), though Baseball Prospectus also gave him slightly below-average marks in terms of pitch blocking and framing during his time with the Brewers.
With Chirinos no longer in the fold, the Rangers are severely lacking in catching options, so it’s natural to see them add some depth. Jose Trevino, who has all of eight MLB plate appearances and hit .234/.284/.332 with Double-A Frisco last season, sits atop the catching depth chart alongside Isiah Kiner-Falefa, who spent more time as an infielder than a catcher in the bigs last season. Texas will likely add further catching depth throughout the winter.