The Yankees have signed catcher David Freitas to a minor league contract, according to the MLB.com transactions tracker. Like others who have signed during the lockout, Freitas was eligible to sign a minors pact by virtue of the fact that he ended the season as a minor league free agent.
Freitas has appeared in parts of three MLB seasons, suiting up with the Braves, Mariners and Brewers between 2017-19. The right-handed hitting backstop has only amassed a .200/.268/.288 line with one home run over 143 plate appearances at the highest level. While Freitas’ big league production has been modest, he owns a much more impressive minor league track record. Over parts of eight seasons at Triple-A, the California native sports a .322/.401/.472 line.
That impressive minor league resume caught the attention of the Korea Baseball Organization’s Kiwoom Heroes, who signed Freitas for the 2021 campaign. His stint in South Korea didn’t go as planned, though, as he hit .259/.297/.394 over 148 trips to the plate before being waived in June. Freitas caught on with the Rays on a minor league deal down the stretch. He hit well in a brief showing with Triple-A Durham but didn’t get a big league call and elected free agency at the end of the year.
Presumably, Freitas will get an opportunity to compete for a big league role in Spring Training. The Yankees look likely to again turn the bulk of the playing time at catcher to Gary Sánchez after tendering him an arbitration contract. Kyle Higashioka is the favorite for reserve duties as the only other catcher on the 40-man roster. Freitas and fellow non-roster invitee Rob Brantly are presently slated to function as the top depth options behind Sánchez and Higashioka.