The Phillies announced on Wednesday that the club signed veteran catcher Ryan Hanigan to a minor league contract with an invitation to spring training.
Hanigan, 36, spent the past season as the back-up catcher for the Red Sox. He hit an unimpressive .171/.230/.238 with five extra-base hits and 14 RBI in 113 plate appearances.
The Phillies already have a fair amount of catching depth with Cameron Rupp starting followed by prospects Andrew Knapp and Jorge Alfaro. Bryan Holaday, Logan Moore, and Chace Numata will also be in camp as non-roster invitees. The odds are against Hanigan joining the big league team out of spring training, but he could sell himself to other teams with a backup catching need with a strong spring showing.
Free agent right-hander Yovani Gallardo is headed back to the Brewers on a major league deal, The Athletic’s Ken Rosenthal reports. No other terms have been reported yet, as the agreement is still pending a physical.
Gallardo, 31, completed a one-year run with the Mariners before getting his $13 million option declined by the team last month. He provided little value during his time in Seattle, pitching to a 5-10 record in 22 starts and putting up a 5.72 ERA, 4.1 BB/9 and 6.5 SO/9 in 130 2/3 innings as both a starter and reliever.
Still, assuming the veteran righty is on the cusp of a comeback, he may as well try for it with his original club. Gallardo last appeared for the Brewers from 2007 to 2014, racking up a cumulative 20.8 fWAR and peaking during the 2010 season, when he earned his first All-Star nomination and Silver Slugger award. This will be his ninth career season with the club.
Even with Gallardo aboard, the Brewers are expected to continue deepening their pitching stores for 2018. With team ace Jimmy Nelson still recovering from shoulder surgery, the club will enter the season with a projected rotation of Gallardo, Zach Davies, Chase Anderson and Junior Guerra, the latter of whom pitched just 70 1/3 innings in 2017 following a right calf strain and shin contusion. Another big name pitcher could help cement Milwaukee’s rotation and keep them competitive for another year, though they don’t appear to have made any concrete moves in that direction so far.