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Cubs free agent target: Curt Casali

Another in a series of looking at possible catcher signings for the North Siders.

Photo by Steph Chambers/Getty Images

The Cubs need a catcher to pair with Yan Gomes in 2023.

This, you know.

I’ve looked at a number of possible signings in this realm for the Cubs and a number of them are now off the board — Christian Vázquez, Omar Narváez, and just last night, James McCann, a possible Cubs trade target, was dealt to the Baltimore Orioles.

So that doesn’t leave too many possibilities. Roberto Perez, profiled here yesterday, seems like a decent choice, but today let’s look at Curt Casali.

Casali spent most of his career playing for the Rays (four years) and Reds (three years) but split 2022 between the Giants and Mariners. He didn’t hit very well for the Giants (.210/.313/.350 in 41 games) but the Mariners saw enough to trade for him. He played in just 15 games for Seattle, none in the postseason.

Casali turned 34 last month, so signing him would be a stopgap, and probably only for one year. If the Cubs did go this way, I’d think Gomes would wind up catching the bulk of the games and Casali would be a true backup, and I’m not sure Jed Hoyer wants to do this. A signing like Perez would make more of a catching tandem where the players would more or less split the time.

Nevertheless, Casali is a decent defender, throwing out 25 percent of runners trying to steal in his career (league average over that time is 27 percent) and he’s about middle of the pack in pitch framing.

I had a vague recollection of Casali hitting well against the Cubs and at Wrigley Field and that turns out to be correct.

Against the Cubs: .250/.372/.547 (16-for-64), five home runs, 12 walks
At Wrigley Field: .262/.347/.548 (11-for-42), three home runs

Small sample sizes, granted, and not reflective of how he might hit in a Cubs uniform; just thought these were interesting.

As I said, I’d rather have Perez, but if this is the choice Jed Hoyer & Co. make I think I could live with it for a year. Casali made $2.6 million in 2022 and that’s about all I’d pay him for 2023.

What say you?

Poll

Curt Casali...

This poll is closed

  • 17%
    ... the Cubs should sign him to a contract like the one proposed in the article
    (42 votes)
  • 1%
    ... the Cubs should sign him, but it would cost more in dollars or years or both
    (4 votes)
  • 77%
    ... the Cubs should not sign him
    (184 votes)
  • 2%
    Something else (leave in comments)
    (7 votes)
237 votes total Vote Now