Pirates in Agreement with Veteran Catcher Roberto Perez

According to Jeff Passan, the Pittsburgh Pirates are in agreement with veteran catcher Roberto Perez on a one-year contract. Perez, who turns 33 next month, has spent the last eight seasons playing for the Cleveland Indians. He was a Gold Glove winner during the 2019-20 seasons.

With the trade of Jacob Stallings yesterday, the Pirates were left with no catchers on their 40-man roster. Perez is a solid defensive catcher, though his dWAR rating has dropped from a high of 2.7 in 2019, down to 0.6 during the shortened 2020 season, down to just 0.2 in 2021, as he saw a limited role. His offense has been very poor over the last two seasons, with a .480 OPS in 32 games in 2020, and a .564 OPS in 44 games this year when he hit .149 with seven homers and a very high strikeout rate (34.8% K rate). He’s a career .206/.297/.360 hitter in 490 games. His best season on defense (2019) was also by far his best season on offense. He had 24 homers and a .774 OPS that year.

This isn’t a great replacement for Stallings on offense or defense (if the trend continues), but it gives them a Major League catcher. You can assume that they aren’t done signing catchers, as the Triple-A/MLB options right now are very slim pickings.

UPDATE: It’s being reported that he’s getting $5M for the one-year deal. That’s quite a sum for someone coming off of a -0.1 WAR season that followed an 0.2 WAR season. He was strong two years ago, but that was after putting up a -0.5 WAR in 2018