Catcher Andrew Knapp has cleared waivers and elected free agency, according to Jason Mackey of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. Knapp had been designated for assignment by the Pirates a few days ago. Players can reject outright assignments and elect free agency if they have been previously outrighted in their careers or have more than five years of MLB service time. Knapp fits both of those categories, allowing him to return to the open market.
Knapp, 30, was signed by the Reds to a minor league deal this winter but didn’t make the team out of Spring Training. After being granted his release, he very quickly latched on with the Pirates to serve as the backup behind Roberto Perez. The switch-hitting Knapp got into 11 games with the Bucs but hit just .210/.310/.315, for a wRC+ of 23.
Perez recently underwent season-ending hamstring surgery, forcing the club to figure out a new plan for who would handle the receiving duties in Pittsburgh. Michael Perez had his contract selected and then the team claimed Tyler Heineman off waivers from the Blue Jays, with Knapp getting nudged out as part of the latter move.
Knapp will now be free to communicate with all 30 clubs and figure out his preferred next step. Over 320 career games, he’s hit .210/.310/.315 for a wRC+ of 70. That’s 30% below league average for all hitters, though backup catchers who can hit at a league-average rate are few and far between. The fact that he can hit from both sides of the plate could perhaps help him find a job with a team whose primary catcher has a notable platoon split.