The Rangers have now officially signed catcher Kevin Plawecki, a move that was hinted at in recent reporting. The club announced the move, along with Nick Solak heading to the 60-day injured list with a right foot fracture in a corresponding move. The Solak move is a mere formality, as it was previously reported that he suffered a season-ending foot fracture.
Plawecki, 31, spent the past three seasons with the Red Sox, performing quite well in the first two. Over 2020 and 2021, while backing up Christian Vazquez, Plawecki hit .305/.364/.414 for a wRC+ of 112, or 12% above league average. He wasn’t able to sustain it here in 2022, however, dropping to a batting line of .217/.287/.287, 61 wRC+.
With the Red Sox out of the playoff race and Plawecki approaching free agency, they decided to give more playing time to controllable catchers like Reese McGuire and Connor Wong. That led to Plawecki getting designated for assignment, a move that apparently rankled the Boston clubhouse. Nathan Eovaldi and Rich Hill spoke on the record about Plawecki’s popularity on the club as a veteran leader, which is something it seems the Rangers are interested in.
Levi Weaver of The Athletic relays that he spoke to interim manager Tony Beasley about the move, with Beasley highlighting Plawecki’s reputation as a clubhouse guy and outlining how his presence would allow the club more flexibility in deploying its two other catchers, Jonah Heim and Sam Huff, down the stretch.