The Rangers have released veteran catcher Kevin Plawecki from their Triple-A affiliate, per the transaction log at MiLB.com. He’ll head back to the market and perhaps latch on with a new organization seeking catching depth in advance of the Sept. 1 deadline for postseason eligibility.
Texas originally acquired Plawecki, 32, from the Padres in exchange for cash on July 28. It was a logical depth addition at the time, as Jonah Heim had just hit the injured list with a wrist strain that might have required surgery. Heim has since returned from the injured list, however, and Texas further bolstered its catching depth just days after adding Plawecki. Defensive standout Austin Hedges was acquired from the Pirates and was already on the 40-man roster. With Heim healthy enough to play and Hedges joining him and Mitch Garver as catching options on the big league roster (plus prospect Sam Huff in Triple-A), there’s no clear path to the big leagues for Plawecki.
Plawecki only appeared in 10 games with Triple-A Round Rock but hit well, batting .294/.400/.325 in 40 trips to the plate. He’s also spent time with the Triple-A affiliates for the Nats and Padres in 2023, batting a combined .272/.349/.389 in 269 trips to the plate. He’s yet to appear in the Majors this season after logging at least 24 games in each of the past eight big league seasons.
Selected by the Mets with the 35th overall pick in the 2012 draft, Plawecki is a career .235/.313/.341 hitter in 1426 plate appearances. He’s operated mostly as a backup in the big leagues, never topping 277 plate appearances in a given season. Plawecki has never excelled at controlling the running game (career 19% caught-stealing rate) but has drawn above-average marks for his framing and pitch blocking, per Statcast.