Jul 24, 2013; Phoenix, AZ, USA; Arizona Diamondbacks catcher Wil Nieves (27) tries to catch the ball against the screen in the 12th inning during a baseball game against the Chicago Cubs at Chase Field. Mandatory Credit: Rick Scuteri-USA TODAY Sports

Philadelphia Phillies sign catcher Wil Nieves


Jul 4, 2013; New York, NY, USA; New York Mets shortstop Omar Quintanilla (3) slides past Arizona Diamondbacks catcher Wil Nieves (27) to score during the fifth inning at Citi Field. Mandatory Credit: Anthony Gruppuso-USA TODAY Sports

Soon after trading backup catcher Erik Kratz to the Blue Jays, the Philadelphia Phillies quickly solved their backup catching “hole” by making an interesting acqusition.

Wil Nieves joins the Phillies as the back-up to the newly extended Carlos Ruiz, and while the terms have yet to be disclosed, his contract is believed to be for 1-year at modest money. Nieves is a 36-year-old journeyman who has over 1,100 plate appearances in the big leagues, but he has had to make that dent with 6 different teams.

For his career, Nieves has a modest slash line of .242/.283/.314 with 8 home runs in 385 games, and that won’t inspire a great deal of fanfare for his arrival. However, his batting average his spiked in a positive way over the last 2 seasons (.301 and .297, respectively), and that surely made an impact for the more “traditional” front office in Philadelphia.

Defensively, Nieves has been a net positive for his career, and that is pretty much all you need from a backup catcher behind a presumed stud like Ruiz. If he hits at all, it’ll be a bonus for the Phillies, but they’ve clearly chosen to go the “cheap veteran” route for this roster spot.

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Tags: Arizona Diamondbacks Philadelphia Phillies