Report: Pittsburgh Pirates to Sign Andrew Knapp

Mar 16, 2021; Clearwater, Florida, USA; Philadelphia Phillies catcher Andrew Knapp (5) drops a foul ball in the first inning in the game against the Toronto Blue Jays during spring training at BayCare Ballpark. Mandatory Credit: Jonathan Dyer-USA TODAY Sports
Mar 16, 2021; Clearwater, Florida, USA; Philadelphia Phillies catcher Andrew Knapp (5) drops a foul ball in the first inning in the game against the Toronto Blue Jays during spring training at BayCare Ballpark. Mandatory Credit: Jonathan Dyer-USA TODAY Sports /
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According to Jason Mackey of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette the Pittsburgh Pirates plan to sign veteran catcher Andrew Knapp to serve as the second catcher behind Roberto Pérez

Tuesday afternoon the Pittsburgh Pirates re-assigned catchers Taylor Davis, Michael Pérez and Jamie Ritchie to the minor leagues. This came as a surprise as it left the Pirates with just Roberto Pérez as a catcher in MLB camp.

Prior to these moves it was expected that Michael Pérez would serve as the team’s second catcher in 2022. Instead, after re-assigning him to the minor leagues the Pittsburgh Pirates were forced to look elsewhere.

Well, it appears they have found their second catcher. According to Jason Mackey of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette the Pirates will sign Andrew Knapp to be their second catcher. Knapp was in camp with the Cincinnati Reds but was recently released after he was informed that he would not make the team.

Knapp is a former top 100 prospect, cracking Baseball America’s top 100 in the 2015-2016 offseason, who has spent the previous 5 seasons with the Philadelphia Phillies. In 827 MLB plate appearances Knapp has hit for just a .214/.314/.322 slash line to go with a wRC+ of 74.

Knapp is coming off the worst season of his career. After posting a career best 132 wRC+ and 0.5 fWAR in the COVID shortened 2020 season, Knapp hit for a .152/.215/.214 slash line to go with a wRC+ of 18 in 159 PAs last season. All of these were career lows for Knapp, as was his 6.3% walk. Additionally, his 38.4% strikeout rate was a new career high.

To be honest the Knapp addition is a confusing one. Last season his -1.1 fWAR ranked 68th out of 68 qualified catchers. So there is a legitimate argument to be made that Knapp was the worst catcher in baseball last season.

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Currently, the Pirate 40-man roster is full so they will need to remove someone from the roster to create a spot for Knapp. There is a possibility that Greg Allen could be placed on the 60-day injured list in order to do this, there are also plenty of options of players who an be designated for assignment.

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