Red Sox find their backup catcher in Kevin Plawecki

Rob Bradford
January 02, 2020 - 1:41 pm
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The Red Sox continue to work around the edges of their major league roster. Wednesday it was time to find a backup catcher.

According to a major league source, the Sox have agreed to a major-league deal with catcher Kevin Plawecki, a former first-round draft pick who spent last season with the Indians. USA Today reports that it is a one-year deal worth $900,000.

Plawecki was a former top prospect in the Mets system, having been chosen with the 35th overall pick by New York in 2012. After four seasons as a backup with the Mets, the righty hitter was traded to Cleveland last January. He struggled offensively in his only season with the Indians, hitting .222 with a .629 and three homers in 59 games.

But while the bat hasn't come along like many anticipated when he lived life as a Top 100 prospect, Plawecki's defensive skills have been sharp. The 28-year-old rated 13th overall in Baseball Prospectus' Fielding Runs Above Average metric, two spots ahead of Red Sox starting catcher Christian Vazquez.

The Red Sox view Plawecki as at least a modest offensive upgrade over their 2019 backup backstop, Sandy Leon, who is replacing Plawecki as the Indians' second-string catcher after hitting just .192 with a .548 OPS in 65 games with the Sox last season.

It is the third major-league free agent signed by the Red Sox this offseason, with pitcher Martin Perez and infielder Jose Peraza already in the fold.

Robert Murray was first with news of the agreement.