The White Sox have agreed to a minor deal with catcher Raudy Read, as first reported by Antonio Puesan (Twitter link). He’s represented by Octagon.
Read, 28, spent five seasons ranked among the Nationals’ top 30 prospects over at Baseball America. He reached the Majors both in 2017 and 2019 but received very brief auditions, going 4-for-22 and only drawing three starts behind the dish. The 2017 Nats had Matt Wieters locked in as their primary catcher, with Jose Lobaton backing him up. Read served an 80-game PED suspension in 2018, and by 2019 the Nats had moved onto Yan Gomes and Kurt Suzuki as their veteran tandem behind the plate.
There’s no immediate path to playing time in Chicago, where Yasmani Grandal is installed as the starter behind the plate. The backup situation is a bit more fluid, with less-established names like Seby Zavala and Zack Collins currently in the mix. Yermin Mercedes caught 18 games for the ChiSox’ Triple-A affiliate last year as well, though he was used more frequently at first base and at designated hitter.
Read ought to get plenty of reps behind the dish in the upper minors with the South Siders. He’s spent parts of three seasons in Triple-A and owns a .275/.313/.523 batting line with 26 home runs, 24 doubles and three triples through 466 plate appearances at that level. He’s also halted 36% of stolen-base attempts in his pro career, and BA noted in its 2019 report that he’d made strides in terms of his footwork and receiving over the years.
The options listed for backup C aren’t very good, especially not with the glove. I’m perfectly happy with stockpiling a little depth, especially depth that can throw out a runner on occasion.
The White Sox definitely need Grandal to be able to catch 125-130 games after seeing what that group could do last year. A Kurt Suzuki or even a Stephen Vogt to at least compete for a backup job is better than that group
The Chisox ‘options for starting catchers’ aren’t very enticing either, at least defensively. Grandal is clearly below average on defense. Some people defend him by claiming his framing being so good. To them I say, that was some years back. Not so much, today. But Reinsdorf is paying him $18M a year lol.
I think the $18M is for the 1150 OPS he ripped in the 2nd half of last year. Just a guess.
I think he has a very direct path.
I would be shocked to see any of these three in MLB this year outside of an emergency situation.
While I’m not thrilled about it, I suspect Collins/Zavala are the frontrunners to start the season as the Sox’ backup catcher. I would be happy if the team found someone better, but I certainly would not be shocked to see one of them on the OD roster. They have MLB experience and familiarity with the pitching staff, which counts for something, especially when there just aren’t a lot of good catchers out there that are available at a low cost.
I am expecting Yermin to be traded once the universal DH is official. I don’t expect much of a return (unless he’s a secondary piece in a larger trade package), but I think his primary position is DH and some NL teams might be interested in taking a flier on him.
A distant relative of Randy Ready
Dumpster Divin’ Rick
Yeah, I don’t know why he can’t sign a Silver Slugger winner to play at AAA.
This guys name reminds me of Randy Ready.. the way you say it might be the most underrated name ever.. as well as having the most underrated season ever by a second baseman in 1987. Dude was sic! Random shout out to Ready
Checked games played per position.. bounced around 2nd and 3rd to get those ABS.. makes since.
“The Yerminator” owns modern day MLB record for most consecutive hits to start a season! 8!
If he has adjusted to the pitchers’ adjustments to him during 2021 season… he would make a great DH – just not for TLR!
This is the move that Sox fans have been waiting for. They are truly an upper echelon team now.