July 21, 2024

The Red Sox have dismissed catcher Roberto Perez, as reported by Chris Hatfield of SoxProspects.com. Perez signed a minor league contract with the team in December, but he has been on the injured list during the regular season.

Perez, a 10-year major league veteran, is a two-time Gold Glove Award winner who has always been regarded as one of the sport’s greatest defensive catchers. Unfortunately, the 35-year-old has struggled with injuries in recent years, despite being a regular in the Cleveland lineup in 2019 and 2020. The veteran was limited to 44 games in 2021 due to a fractured finger and a shoulder issue, allowing Austin Hedges to pass him on Cleveland’s depth chart.

Perez became a free agent for the first time following the 2021 season, but his injuries have only worsened since then. He signed a big league contract with the Pirates in 2022, but he only participated in 21 games before his season was cut short in early May due to hamstring issues. The following winter, Perez signed a non-roster contract with the Giants and earned a seat on the club’s staff after a solid spring training.Unfortunately, the veteran only made it five games into the regular season before having season-ending surgery to repair the rotator cuff in his right shoulder. Between both injuries and the mysterious issue that has afflicted Perez this year, the 35-year-old has played in only 86 official games since the end of the 2021 season.

Roberto Perez has sore right shoulder

 

The long line of ailments is alarming for a seasoned catcher in his mid-30s, but it’s worth noting that his limited regular season and spring training outings have proved him to be a competent defensive catcher when healthy. On the other hand, he’s been nothing short of terrible at the plate since a basically league-average 2019 season, slashing.169/.268/.288 with a wRC+ of 58 in 357 plate appearances at the major league level.

Nonetheless, given the necessity of catching depth and the veteran’s stellar defensive record, it would not be surprising for a catching-needy club to consider Perez on a minor league contract if he can get fit enough to play in the second half. Despite losing Perez, Boston remains deep in catching depth behind their primary tandem of Connor Wong and Reese McGuire; Tyler Heineman is on the 40-man roster as an optionable depth piece, while Mark Kolozsvary provides additional, non-roster depth with big league experience at the Triple-A level.

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