The Cubs have signed catcher Luis Torrens to a minor league deal, per Ángel Daniel Conde T of the Venezuelan Professional Baseball League’s Navegantes del Magallanes. Torrens will receive an invitation to major league Spring Training.
Torrens, 27 in May, has seen scattered playing time in the big leagues since 2017, suiting up for the Padres and Mariners. His longest stretch of playing time in the majors came with Seattle in 2021, when he got into 108 games and hit 15 home runs. His .243/.299/.431 batting line resulted in a 101 wRC+, indicating he was just above average at the plate, though the average catcher usually comes in around 90 or so. Last year, he slipped to a line of .225/.283/.298 and a wRC+ of 72.
Since he’s generally considered to be a bat-first catcher, Torrens needs to hit to be valuable to a team. Defensive Runs Saved has given him a -22 grade for his career so far while both FanGraphs and Baseball Prospectus consider him a subpar framer. Since he was having a down year at the plate in 2022, he was outrighted off the roster in August. He finished the season on the roster after getting selected again in September, but he was then non-tendered in November.
For the Cubs, they have three catchers on their 40-man roster, with Tucker Barnhart and Yan Gomes slated to the share the time with the big league club. Prospect Miguel Amaya is also on the roster but he underwent Tommy John surgery in 2021. He returned last year but was limited to just 40 minor league games and has yet to reach Triple-A. Torrens will give the club some non-roster depth should an injury arise before Amaya is ready to make the jump. Torrens is out of options and won’t be able to be easily sent back to the minors if he gets onto the roster.