The Angels look to have added veteran catcher Austin Romine on a minor league deal with an invite to Major League camp, as Jeff Fletcher of the Orange County Register tweets that Romine has a locker set up in the Halos’ clubhouse.
Romine, 33, was a backup with the Yankees from 2011-19 before reaching free agency and signing with the Tigers to be their primary catcher in advance of the 2020 season. He’d posted a well-timed .281/.310/.439 batting line during his 2019 walk year, but Romine struggled with the Tigers in the truncated 2020 season, slashing just .238/.259/.323. He signed on with the Cubs last winter, but he was hobbled by a knee issue in camp and, shortly after being activated from the injured list in April, suffered a “significant” strain in his wrist that sidelined him for much of the year. Ultimately, he hit just .217/.242/.300 in 62 plate appearances with the Cubs.
All told, Romine is a lifetime .238/.277/.358 hitter in parts of ten Major League seasons. He’s never produced much at the plate, outside of his 2018-19 seasons in the Bronx, but Romine is a well-regarded defensive backstop who’ll provide some experienced depth behind starter Max Stassi and the recently re-signed Kurt Suzuki. The Halos also have catcher/first baseman Matt Thaiss on the big league roster and have journeyman Chad Wallach in camp as a non-roster invitee.