5:30pm: Oakland has announced the signing.
3:56pm: The Athletics have agreed to sign catcher Chris Herrmann, according to veteran reporter Jerry Crasnick (Twitter link). It’s a one-year pact, per MLB.com’s Jane Lee (via Twitter), and is worth $1MM plus incentives, Jon Heyman of Fancred tweets.
Herrmann’s tour of the AL West continues. He played well last year for the Mariners and spent a brief stretch on the Astros’ 40-man roster earlier this winter before being non-tendered. He had projected to earn a $1.5MM salary, which was obviously a bit north of what the Houston organization was ultimately willing to commit after it had a chance to survey the market fully.
The A’s will presumably utilize Herrmann mostly behind the dish, though he has also spent a fair bit of time in the outfield and at first base. That’s handy to have around, at least when he’s hitting enough to warrant time in those positions. At a minimum, it increases a team’s roster flexibility.
Herrmann, who just turned 31, has never been a consistent offensive producer. He has had productive stretches in two of the past three seasons, but scuffled to a .181/.273/.345 slash in 256 plate appearances in 2017 — his most extensive action in the majors. Still, it’s hard not to like some of the tools. Herrmann has some swing and miss to his game, but he knows how to draw a walk and has pop in addition to grading well on the bases.