Twins’ lack of catching depth makes replacing Joe Mauer even tougher

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Minnesota has had to replace Joe Mauer for extended stretches before, but unfortunately by trading both Wilson Ramos and Jose Morales the Twins are exceptionally short on catching depth this time around.

Drew Butera will take over as the primary catcher and the Twins have called up minor-league veteran Steve Holm from Rochester to serve as his backup.

Butera is very strong defensively and Holm had a couple brief stints in the majors with the Giants in addition to 11 seasons in the minors, but there isn’t a worse catching duo in the big leagues and asking them to replace the best catcher in baseball represents just about the largest possible dropoff.

Butera has hit .194/.230/.284 in the majors after batting .214/.296/.317 in the minors, making him perhaps MLB’s worst hitter, and Holm has hit just .249/.330/.380 in 170 games at Triple-A. Even if they collectively perform relatively well the Butera-Holm combo is likely at least 60 runs worse offensively per season than Mauer.

Angels sign Chris Carter to minor league contract

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The Angels have signed 1B/DH Chris Carter to a minor league contract, Jeff Fletcher of the Orange County Register reports. Jon Heyman of FanRag Sports notes that Carter will earn a $1.175 million salary if he makes the major league roster and he can earn another $600,000 in incentives.

Carter, 31, struggled mightily with the Yankees last year before being released in July. He hit .201/.284/.370 with eight home runs and 26 RBI in 208 plate appearances. The Athletics signed him later that month, but spent the rest of his season with Triple-A Nashville.

The Angels dealt C.J. Cron to the Rays on Saturday, so Carter helps add depth in that area.