Dodgers claim Ryan Lavarnway off waivers from Red Sox, drop Drew Butera

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Catcher/first baseman Ryan Lavarnway, who was designated for assignment by the Red Sox last week, has been claimed off waivers by the Dodgers. To make room for him on the 40-man roster Los Angeles designated for assignment catcher Drew Butera.

Lavarnway never hit much in some brief stints with the Red Sox and isn’t considered a reliable enough defender to see regular action behind the plate, but his minor-league track record suggests he could be useful as a part-time catcher/first baseman/bench bat. He’s a career .277 hitter with an .824 OPS at Triple-A.

Butera was acquired from Minnesota in mid-2013 and predictably hit .186 for the Dodgers after batting .182 for the Twins. He’s a good-glove, no-hit catcher whose bat may be too weak for even a backup role.

Report: Rangers sign Jeff Mathis to two-year deal

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The Rangers have signed catcher Jeff Mathis to a two-year contract, per Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic. The deal is pending a physical.

Mathis turns 36 years old at the end of March and has a career .564 OPS across 14 seasons, but he is well-regarded for his defense and ability to handle a pitching staff.

The arrival of Mathis could mean the Rangers are moving on from Robinson Chirinos behind the plate, as he is now a free agent. The Rangers could go after another catcher to complement Mathis or just have Isiah Kiner-Falefa back up Mathis. Though Kiner-Falefa mostly played elsewhere, including three spots across the infield, he did rack up over 300 defensive innings behind the plate in 2018.