Pittsburgh Pirates News: Former Catcher Signs With Division Rival

Jul 7, 2020; Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, United States; Pittsburgh Pirates catchers Luke Maile (14) on the field during Summer Training workouts at PNC Park. Mandatory Credit: Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports
Jul 7, 2020; Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, United States; Pittsburgh Pirates catchers Luke Maile (14) on the field during Summer Training workouts at PNC Park. Mandatory Credit: Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports /
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After spending the entire 2020 season on the injured list in his lone season with the Pittsburgh Pirates, catcher Luke Maile has signed with another National League Central club

Last offseason, general manager Ben Cherington signed catcher Luke Maile to the MLB contract. Maile had previously played under Cherington’s watchful eye with the Toronto Blue Jays. So, it was not a surprise that Cherington wanted to bring Maile to the Pittsburgh Pirates.

While Maile had always struggled offensively in his MLB career, he was always a plus defender. Maile has a lifetime 30.1 dWAR and he has been responsible for +21 Defensive Runs Saved in his career.

Maile was expected to back up, if not split time with, Jacob Stallings in 2020. However, due to a broken finger that he suffered during summer camp, Maile missed the entire 2020 season. Now, after Maile was designated for assignment earlier this offseason when Michael Perez was claimed off waivers, Maile’s career with the Pittsburgh Pirates will come to an end without ever playing a game for the Bucs.

According to Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports, Maile has signed a MLB contract with another National League Central club – the Milwaukee Brewers.

Maile not returning to the Pittsburgh Pirates comes as no surprise. During the 2020 season Stallings emerged as the starting catcher for the Pirates. Furthermore, when the team added Perez earlier in the offseason, this, obviously, made Maile expendable.

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While Maile could have re-signed with the Pirates, it was unlikely as he no longer had a clear path to MLB playing time. Additionally, the Pirates re-signing Andrew Susac to a minor league deal earlier in the offseason gave the team catching depth at the Triple-A level, which also lessened their need to keep Maile in the fold.

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