The Angels and catcher Max Stassi have avoided arbitration with an $800K agreement, Mark Feinsand of MLB.com tweets. That’s the exact salary MLBTR contributor Matt Swartz projected for Stassi a few months back.
Stassi didn’t hit much in 2019 with the Astros and Angels, the latter of whom acquired him at the July trade deadline, and he underwent hip surgery in September. Nevertheless, the catcher-needy Angels have elected to keep him on their roster this offseason. The club recently added free agent Jason Castro, who will be its starting backstop in 2020, leaving the out-of-options Stassi as its primary backup.
Stassi, 28, isn’t far removed from an impressive all-around showing as an Astro in 2018. He slashed .226/.316/.394 (100 wRC+) while providing premium defense that year, though his offensive numbers cratered after the first couple months of the campaign. And last season was an offensive disaster for Stassi, owner of a .138/.211/.167 line across 147 trips to the plate. He did, however, remain a terrific defender, according to Baseball Prospectus’ Fielding Runs Above Average metric, while throwing out a league-average 27 percent of would-be base thieves.