Athletics

Athletics

The A's announced Tuesday they have reached an agreement with catcher Chris Herrmann.

News of the agreement originally was reported by Jerry Crasnick. Fancred's Jon Heyman reported it as a one-year, $1 million deal.

Herrmann spent 2018 with the Mariners and played in 36 games. He finished his campaign with a .237.322/.421 slash line and two home runs ... one of which was a walk-off shot against Oakland:

The A's recently agreed to terms with backup catcher Josh Phegley on a one-year deal, and Jonathan Lucroy, who sported green and gold last season, is in a different situation of his own. As The San Francisco Chronicle's Susan Slusser reported, the 32-year-old would accept a one-year deal, but the two aren't on the same page in regard to contract negotiations. 

This could mean, just like Jed Lowrie, they could be moving on.

 

Herrmann has moved around a lot on the defense. He has played in every position in the outfield, on top of being behind the plate, and he even spent some time at first base. 

His power increased from 2017, but his massive power surge in 2016 is something of note. It's up to you if you want to determine whether or not Chase Field's ballpark factor is something that carried that or not, but a .284 batting average with a .209 ISO is something that cannot be ignored.

"We saw him last year," Bob Melvin told NBC Sports Bay Area. "He had some good games against us. A left-handed bat. Kind of a guy with a lot of versatility, yet we're identifying him right now at the catching position. I don't think he's ever got a true opportunity to catch consistently. There's a good chance where we're sitting right now that he's going to get a lot more reps behind the plate.

"He handles the bat pretty well. A lot of the metrics we look at as far as framing and pop times to second base look pretty good for us, and that's why we ended up signing him."

And Melvin might not be done signing catchers.

"In any position nowadays, you're trying to increase your depth, no matter what," the manager said. "It's not a significant cost for us. It's a guy that we like, and our analytics would support that. We'll continue to look -- and potentially Luc, too, because he was so impactful for us last year.

"Down the road, we're looking at kind of holding down the fort for Sean Murphy. We think he has a chance to be a real good everyday big league player behind the plate, too."

It'll be interesting to see how Herrmann fares, but he's no stranger to the American League from being with the Twins for four years, and most recently in the AL West. If his power can stay where it has been in the past, he could be an underappreciated addition to the A's lineup -- especially with his defensive diversity.