The Angels have signed catcher Chad Wallach to a minor league deal, according to his transactions tracker at MLB.com. Wallach was with the club in 2022 but elected free agency after being outrighted in October.
Wallach, 31, has seen MLB action in each of the past six seasons, splitting time between the Reds, Marlins and Angels. The Marlins put him on waivers in July of 2021, with the Dodgers putting in a claim. They kept him in the minors until putting him back on waivers a week later, when the Angels swooped in.
The backstop got into 12 MLB games but spent most of the year in Triple-A, suiting up for 89 contests there. He hit .219/.304/.361 in that time for a wRC+ of 66. He’s never been a huge threat with the bat but has a solid reputation for his defense and game calling.
The Angels will be without Kurt Suzuki next year, as he announced his retirement as the 2022 campaign was winding down. That leaves them with three catchers on the 40-man roster in Logan O’Hoppe, Max Stassi and Matt Thaiss. O’Hoppe looked great last year but he’s still a bit green, in the sense that he’s only played six Triple-A games and five MLB games. He could take the starting job and run with it but it’s not guaranteed at the moment. Stassi seemed to have that job locked down a year ago, with he and the club agreeing to an extension in March. However, his bat took a huge downward turn and he’s now a question mark going into next year. Thaiss played other positions last year just as much as he did behind the plate and is probably considered more of an emergency catcher. Wallach will give the club an experienced backstop in Triple-A who can come up in the event that one of the other options gets hurt or underperforms.