A’s To Sign Yohel Pozo To Minor League Deal

The A’s are in agreement on a minor league contract with catcher Yohel Pozo, reports Alden González of ESPN. Pozo will receive an invitation to major league Spring Training.

Pozo, 26 in June, has spent almost his entire career with the Rangers thus far. He was very briefly a Padre, having signed a minor league deal in November of 2020 but then was selected back by the Rangers in the minor league portion of the Rule 5 draft just a couple of weeks later.

Pozo has been compared to Willians Astudillo, since the players have a similar penchant for putting the bat on the ball. Pozo has never posted a walk rate of 8% or higher and has never struck out at anything higher than a 13% clip. He seemed to have a nice breakout in 2021, hitting 23 home runs in 77 Triple-A games, which led to his major league debut. In 21 big league games, he hit .284/.312/.378 for a wRC+ of 89, roughly league average for a catcher. Despite that nice year, he was non-tendered and re-signed to a minor league deal for 2022. He hit .320/.352/.474, which amounted to a wRC+ of 104 in the hitter-friendly Pacific Coast League.

For the A’s, they made a very notable subtraction to their catching depth yesterday, trading Sean Murphy to Atlanta. They did get Manny Piña back in that deal, though he is a veteran placeholder who turns 36 next year. Their true path forward behind the plate will likely be forged by Shea Langeliers, who made his MLB debut last year, or Tyler Soderstrom, who made it to Triple-A. However, anyone in that group struggles or gets injured, Pozo will give the A’s a unique depth option. If he makes it onto their 40-man roster, he has a full slate of options.

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