The Tigers announced that they’ve signed catcher Dustin Garneau to a minor league contract and invited him to Major League Spring Training. Garneau, a client of agent Marc Kligman, will compete for a spot alongside Jake Rogers, Grayson Greiner and Eric Haase. The deal includes multiple opt outs, but Garneau will earn a $1MM salary if he earns a spot with the Tigers, Jon Heyman of MLB Network tweets.
Garneau, 33, had a solid season between the Angels and A’s in 2019 but struggled with his third AL West club, the Astros, in 2020. This past season, Garneau served as the backup to Martin Maldonado and limped to a .158/.273/.279 batting line in an admittedly minuscule sample of 46 plate appearances.
Defensively, he’s caught 37 percent of would-be base thieves in the minors and 33 percent in the Majors. And after a poor start to his career in terms of pitch framing, Garneau has rated a bit above average in each of his past few MLB efforts.
Garneau has never received a particularly long look in the Majors, as his career-high in plate appearances came back in 2017 when he tallied 126 trips to the dish between Colorado and Oakland. He’s a career .202/.288/.338 hitter in 427 Major League plate appearances but a .260/.335/.500 hitter in parts of six Triple-A seasons.