The Pirates Announce They Have Signed Austin Hedges

The Pittsburgh Pirates officially announced the signing of catcher Austin Hedges on Tuesday afternoon. No word yet on the corresponding move to open up a spot on the 40-man roster. The news of this agreement broke on Saturday. He agreed to a one-year deal for $5M.

The 30-year-old Hedges has struggled at the plate over his career, posting a .189/.247/.331 slash line in 605 games. Those numbers are lower over his last three seasons since joining Cleveland. However, he is known as one of the better defensive catchers in the game.

“We are excited to add Austin to our group,” said Pirates General Manager Ben Cherington, via press release. “He’s been one of the best defensive catchers in baseball for years and has earned a terrific reputation for his positive impact on pitchers.”

His defense has rated above average every full season according to dWAR, improving the last two seasons to 1.4 in 2021 and 1.2 in 2022. He has thrown out 30% of runners throughout his career, while the league average during that time is 26%.

The Pirates have just two catchers on their 40-man roster right now, and young Endy Rodriguez will be starting the season Indianapolis. Hedges appears to be their starter.

We could still see another catcher brought in to compete with Tyler Heineman and Jason Delay for the backup spot. Delay and Heineman combined to start 93 games for the Pirates in 2022.

John started working at Pirates Prospects in 2009, but his connection to the Pittsburgh Pirates started exactly 100 years earlier when Dots Miller debuted for the 1909 World Series champions. John was born in Kearny, NJ, two blocks from the house where Dots Miller grew up. From that hometown hero connection came a love of Pirates history, as well as the sport of baseball.

When he didn't make it as a lefty pitcher with an 80+ MPH fastball and a slider that needed work, John turned to covering the game, eventually focusing in on the prospects side, where his interest was pushed by the big league team being below .500 for so long. John has covered the minors in some form since the 2002 season, and leads the draft and international coverage on Pirates Prospects. He writes daily on Pittsburgh Baseball History, when he's not covering the entire system daily throughout the entire year on Pirates Prospects.

Support Pirates Prospects

Related articles

join the discussion

Subscribe
Notify of
18 Comments
Newest
Oldest Most Voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Wilbur Miller

Diego Castillo dfa’d.

He wasn’t exactly impressive this year, but there are much less useful guys on the roster.

Last edited 1 month ago by Wilbur Miller
SBRO

This one shocked me. After they traded Newman, I thought for sure Castillo was going to make the squad as the backup MI.

This is good news for Marcano.

Zack

Marcano seems like he provides better value with the glove and legs, right?

Last edited 1 month ago by Zack
Zack

DFA’d means he didn’t clear waivers already, right? Looks like both Clay Holmes trade pieces might be gonzo soon.

SBRO

Right, he has to make it through. If he does, he’ll be outrighted since he doesn’t have enough service time to become a free agent.

Wilbur Miller

Right

Zack

BC has to be frantically working the trade lines to free up space.

SBRO

I think this is the dark horse reason. Glut of outfielders, see if he can open up a spot by flipping one of them.

SBRO

Corresponding move has to be Vilade, right? They already have 9 OF (not including Bae) on the 40-man plus Palacios and Gorski. Something has to give.

SBRO

Oh boy, wrong again.

Pirates 2021-2022: infielders play RF
Pirates 2023: outfielders play SS

sweetnich

Either Vilade or Max Kranick. I call Kranick.

SBRO

I still think they use Kranick as a placeholder for when the 60 day IL opens up, then he goes on and they can add the backup C. Otherwise they’ll need to make 2 DFA’s – one now, one later.

Scam likely

41 man roster alert!

robertkasperski

Wonder if the guy to be dumped is traveling and that is why it has not been announced. I am sure that has been a move made with the league just not announced till the cell phone is turned on for the guy to get the news.

b mcferren

the seats where that picture was taken from are the best seats in the house in my opinion

Wilbur Miller

Jarlin? Jarlin??

Danatural08

robertkasperski

My thoughts exactly. PS. I still wanna win his money. 🙂

Share article

Pirates Prospects Daily

Latest articles

Pirates Prospects Weekly

MONDAY: First Pitch

TUESDAY: Article Drop

WEDNESDAY: Opinions

THURSDAY: Roundtable

FRIDAY: Discussion

SATURDAY: Pirates Winter Report

SUNDAY: Pirates Business

Latest comments

18
0
Would love your thoughts, please comment.x
()
x