Monday has been a big day for the Cleveland Guardians. First the team announced a risky hiring, with Stephen Vogt replacing Terry Francona behind the bench. After that they wasted no time making their first roster move of the Vogt era.
And this one came at a position that will clearly matter to their new manager:
Guardians News: Christian Bethancourt Claimed
The Cleveland Guardians claimed catcher Christian Bethancourt after he was waived by the Tampa Bay Rays.
Bethancourt is now the fourth catcher on the Guardians’ 40-man roster, joining Bo Naylor, Cam Gallagher and David Fry. I know this part isn't news to anyone who followed the Guardians in 2023, but the team clearly needed another catcher, and so fans are rightly rejoicing.
Gallagher is a total offensive liability whose defensive play is supposed to justify his roster spot. Only his defensive play was poor in 2023 too. Fry wasn’t quite so bad, but we got a bit of the reverse problem there. He’s better as an offensive player than he is in the field, but he wasn’t good enough from the dish to make up for the poor defense. He's still young though and will remain a serviceable depth option.
So now we pair the exciting young Naylor, who is good everywhere, with a big upgrade in Bethancourt.
The veteran definitely does his best work in the field, but a career .231/.261/.361 slash line isn’t egregious. And honestly, just about anyone being brought in to send Gallagher out of town was going to be met with huge fanfare.
This is only the start of what should be a busy offseason for the Guardians, but it's a great start.
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