The Giants have signed veteran catcher Curt Casali to a one-year major league contract worth $1.5MM, Maria Guardado of MLB.com was among those to report. To make room for Casali on its 40-man roster, the team officially sold left-hander Andrew Suarez’s rights to the LG Twins of the Korea Baseball Organization. Casali is a client of Beverly Hills Sports Council.
Casali became a professional when the Tigers used a 10th-round pick on him in 2011, but he has so far divided his major league career between the Rays and Reds. He was a Red for the previous three years, during which he posted a productive .260/.345/.440 line with 18 home runs in 485 plate appearances. As a defender, the 32-year-old Casali has thrown out a respectable 27 percent of would-be base stealers, but the all-around package wasn’t enough for Cincinnati to keep him in the fold. The team non-tendered Casali before the Dec. 2 deadline instead of paying him a projected $1.8MM to $2.4MM in arbitration.
Now that he’s on his way to the Bay Area, Casali seems like the front-runner to back up returning starter Buster Posey, who opted out last season over COVID-19 concerns. Casali will now reunite with right-handers Kevin Gausman and Anthony DeSclafani, whom he played with in Cincinnati.
Along with Casali and Posey, the Giants also have fellow catchers Joey Bart and Chadwick Tromp, but those two have all three minor league options remaining. In the event the Casali pickup works out well for the Giants, they’ll be able to keep him around in 2022, as he’ll be eligible for arbitration through then.