Oakland A’s sign intriguing catcher Yohen Pozo

OAKLAND, CA - JULY 22: General view of the Oakland Athletics logos in the dugout before the game against the San Francisco Giants at the Oakland Coliseum on July 22, 2018 in Oakland, California. The Oakland Athletics defeated the San Francisco Giants 6-5 in 10 innings. (Photo by Jason O. Watson/Getty Images)
OAKLAND, CA - JULY 22: General view of the Oakland Athletics logos in the dugout before the game against the San Francisco Giants at the Oakland Coliseum on July 22, 2018 in Oakland, California. The Oakland Athletics defeated the San Francisco Giants 6-5 in 10 innings. (Photo by Jason O. Watson/Getty Images) /
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The Oakland A’s needed to add depth at the catcher positon after trading Sean Murphy. They found an intriguing option behind the plate on Tuesday afternoon.

According to Alden Gonzalez of ESPN, the A’s have signed Yohen Pozo to a minor league deal. The contract includes an invitation to the major league portion of spring training where he will get a chance to earn a place as the A’s third catcher.

Yohen Pozo offers upside to Oakland A’s backup catcher role

Chances are, Pozo will begin the 2023 season in Triple-A. Shea Langeliers is going to be the A’s primary catcher going forward. Manny Pina, acquired as part of the return for Murphy, is making over $4 million and would seem to have the backup role locked down. Pozo’s best chance at reaching the majors is to either find a role as a third catcher or if injuries occur.

Should that happen, Pozo brings unique upside behind the plate. He posted a solid .320/.352/.474 batting line with six homers and 21 doubles in his 267 plate appearances in Triple-A last season, drawing 11 walks with just 32 strikeouts. That ability to make contact and low walk rate makes him an intriguing option.

He also found some success in his brief time in the majors. Pozo had a .284/.312/.378 batting line in his 77 plate appearances, hitting a homer and four doubles while striking out just ten times. Unlike other high contact players that the A’s have brought in, he also had a roughly league average hard hit rate, making it possible that he can find success at the major league level.

His chance could come in 2022. Pina had reportedly been generating interest on the trade block and it is possible that the A’s could attempt to trade him as well. If so, Pozo could find himself with an opportunity to show that he can be a solid major league option.

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The Oakland A’s need catching depth after trading Sean Murphy. Yohen Pozo is not close to the same player, but he is an intriguing addition.

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