According to Fabian Ardaya of The Athletic, the Dodgers have signed catcher Austin Wynns to a major league deal and placed him on the active roster as catcher Will Smith heads to the 7-Day Concussion IL, retroactive to April 13. According to Juan Toribio of MLB.com, the Dodgers have transferred right-hander Alex Reyes to the 60-day IL to make room for Wynns on the 40-man roster.
Wynns appeared in one game this season for the Giants before being designated for assignment earlier this week. Wynns had accepted an outright assignment from San Francisco earlier in the offseason rather than elect free agency, but opted to test the open market after finding himself blocked by Joey Bart, Blake Sabol, and Gary Sanchez on the catching depth chart for the Giants. Wynns sports a career 67 wRC+ in 510 plate appearances since his MLB debut with the Orioles in 2018, but flashed the bat of a serviceable backup with San Francisco last season, slashing .259/.313/.358, good for a wRC+ of 92.
Smith, 28, is among the game’s premiere catchers, with a career wRC+ of 130, a 10.9% walk rate and 18.8% strikeout rate to go with his 25-homer power. Ardaya notes that manager Dave Roberts told reporters that Smith reported symptoms of a concussion on Thursday, and those symptoms have persisted despite him passing SCAT5 testing on Friday. Smith is set to undergo more tests and Roberts is hopefully he will be able to rejoin the club in time for the club’s road trip on Thursday, but if his symptoms persist he may be out for longer. While Smith is on the shelf, Austin Barnes figures to get the lion’s share of starts behind the plate, with Wynns acting as the backup.
As for Reyes, he signed with the Dodgers this offseason on an incentive-laden major-league deal and is still working his way back from shoulder surgery he underwent last May. His placement on the 60-day IL isn’t much of a surprise, as he was not expected to be a contributor for the club until sometime midseason.
Ahhh…..the Wynns of good fortune waft over Austin yet again.
I wouldn’t call being signed by the dodgers ‘good fortune’. But we all have our opinions.
A Major League paycheck is not good fortune? A long time ago someone pointed out to me that being on the worst major ball club is better than being on the best AAA club. How true, how true.
Realistically you have a valid point. Myself, I was just being humorous.
Good for Wynns. I hope he does well.
The link for Will Smith goes to the pitcher Will Smith, not the catcher Will Smith.
So does that make catcher Will Smith the missing link?
Wynns has a job for the next 7 days. I feel for him knowing he is gone as soon as Smith is back, but then he has a Major league job for the next 7 days.
Or as little as four days, since Smith’s IL visit is retroactive to last Thursday. Since this is hardly enough time to learn the pitching staff I’d be surprised to see him appear in any games at all unless it’s completely necessary.
I would get Smith some games at 3B to protect his bat for the long term. CT3 should be used sparingly or as an injury replacement at this point.
Barnes might have a worst bat but his premium defense at catcher makes up for it. Plus he doesn’t strikeout as much as Chris Taylor.
Farhan knows how to chase away a player who says his heart is in San Francisco, better than anyone
Austin Barnes flat out can’t hit. Bring Diego up.