The San Francisco Giants have added a veteran backstop to their 40 man roster. Curt Casali comes to the club after spending the last 3 seasons with the Cincanetti Reds. While with the Reds, the Vanderbilt Alum hit 18 homers and had 56 RBIs with a .260 batting average in 485 plate appearances. Casali roomed with new teammate Mike Yastrzemski while at Vanderbilt and was first drafted to the Detroit Tigers in the 2011 June Amateur Draft. He never made it to the bigs in the Detroit organization, but collected a .263 batting average in 129 games with 12 homers and totaled 59 RBIs. Casal was then traded for a Rule 5 Draft Selection in 2013 to the Tampa Bay Rays, where he went on to spend the next 4 seasons of his career. The Walnut Creek native hit .199 with the Rays and had 19 home runs and 49 RBIs while appearing in just 161 games. He spent the majority of his time in their farm system and tested the free-agent market in 2017 before signing with the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim on a minor league deal. He was released a few weeks later and the Texas Rangers signed him and let him go 2 months later before the season started. Tampa Bay brought back Casali on a minors deal a day after the Rangers released him. Casali spent just 2 months with the Rays before they shipped him off the Reds for cash considerations.
Last season, Casali appeared in 31 games for the Reds and hit .224 under manager David Bell and had 6 homers and drove in only 8 runs. He shared time with Tucker Barnhardt who appeared in 38 games, hitting .204 with 5 homers and 13 RBIs. Casali had an OPS of .866 and joins the Giants on a major league deal worth $1.5 million and will most likely back up Buster Posey. To clear a roster spot, the Giants released Andrew Suarez who was purchased by the LG Twins in the KBO league. Casali has caught for former and now teammates Kevin Gausman and Anthony DeScalfani while with the Reds. Free-agent pitcher Trevor Baur boasted an ERA of 1.82 when Casali caught for him last year. He has also worked with Giants left-hander Wandy Peralta, another teammate while in Cincinnati.
During his career, the 32-year-old has seen time first base, second base, and even some designated hitter. The majority of his playing time has come behind the dish but has an overall batting average of .230 with 37 homers in 831 at-bats with 105 RBIs and only 1 stolen base. He brings a career .994 fielding percentage with 14 errors made and a total of 2158 putouts which includes 131 assists.
The Giants now have 4 catchers on their 40 man roster, including Joey Bart, Chadwick Tromp, and Buster Posey.