The Tigers are in agreement on a minor league contract with Andrew Knapp, as first reported by Complete Baseball News. Evan Petzold of the Detroit Free Press further reports that Knapp’s minor league deal contains an invite to Major League Spring Training. Knapp is repped by Apex Baseball.
The 2022 season was a rough one for Knapp, who posted just a .128/.239/.154 batting line while splitting time between the Pirates, Mariners and Giants. That came in a tiny sample of just 46 plate appearances, however, and his combined .245/.313/.486 output in 230 Triple-A plate appearances between the Mariners and Giants was far better. Current Tigers president of baseball operations Scott Harris was still with the Giants as their general manager when Knapp signed a minor league deal with San Francisco last July.
Knapp, a former second-round pick (Phillies, 2013), has racked up more than five years of big league service while spending parts of six seasons in the Majors. He’s a career .209/.310/.313 hitter in the big leagues and a .257/.328/.415 hitter in parts of four Triple-A seasons. Knapp has struggled with a 19% caught-stealing rate and sub-par framing metrics in the Majors, but he’s nabbed 31% of those who’ve attempted to steal against him in the minors — including a strong 8-for-18 showing (44%) in Triple-A Sacramento in 2022.
The Tigers currently have Eric Haase and Jake Rogers as their primary catching options, though Haase has struggled defensively himself and Rogers missed the 2022 season due to Tommy John surgery. Detroit also picked up Mario Feliciano off waivers from the Brewers last month and is still hopeful that 2020 second-round pick Dillon Dingler can force his way into the picture eventually. Dingler hit .238/.333/.419 (107 wRC+) in a pitcher-friendly Double-A setting in 2022.