Catcher Manny Pina signed for $1.6MM in 2019, his first season of arbitration eligibility, but the Milwaukee Brewers hold a team option for 2020 worth $1.85MM, per Tom Haudricourt of the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel.
The team option for 2020 also includes a $150K buyout, pushing Pina’s guaranteed dollar amount to $1.75MM. Incentives could push the value of the deal higher if Pina wins a Gold Glove ($25K), Silver Slugger ($50K), LCS MVP ($25K), World Series MVP ($50K), National League MVP ($100K), or if he earns a trip to the All-Star game ($50K).
The Brewers now have three catchers signed to guaranteed contracts for 2019: Yasmani Grandal ($18.25MM), Erik Kratz ($1.2MM) and Pina. Grandal figures to see most of the playing time this upcoming season, but as an unrestricted free agent, he’s far from a lock to stay in Milwaukee long-term. Kratz, 39 in June, somewhat surprisingly took over the starting catcher position throughout the Brewers’ playoff run last season, though the journeyman hit only .236/.280/.355 across 219 plate appearances during the regular season. It was the first time Kratz ever exceeded 200 at bats in a season, and the first time eclipsing 100 at-bats since 2014.
Pina, then, seems the most likely of the three to stay with the Brewers beyond 2019, especially now that Milwaukee has secured him at a reasonable price point for 2020. Playing in a little over 60% of Milwaukee’s games over the last two seasons, the 31-year-old Pina slashed a solid .266/.317/.410 across 696 plate appearances. Generally-speaking, he is the least accomplished defensive catcher of the trio, though he received solid marks in blocking and throwing out would-be base stealers. It remains to be seen how exactly manager Craig Counsell plans to divvy up the backup duties behind Grandal.