The San Francisco Giants signed catcher Curt Casali of Walnut Creek, CA to a one-year deal worth $1.5 million on Monday according to Reuters Media. The Reds become Casali’s third Major League baseball team. In addition to the Reds, Casali has played for the Tampa Bay Rays.
In 2020, Casali batted .224 with six home runs, and eight runs batted in. During 31 games, 76 at bats, and 93 plate appearances, Casali scored 10 runs, and had 17 hits, three doubles, two stolen bases, 14 walks, 38 total bases, an on base percentage of .366, and a slugging percentage of .500.
The stolen bases Casali recorded this past season were the first two of his Major League Baseball career. They came in a 1-0 Reds win over the Pittsburgh Pirates on September 16, and in a 5-3 Reds win over the Minnesota Twins on September 27.
Casali was initially drafted by the Detroit Tigers in the 10th round of the 2011 Major League Baseball Draft out of Vanderbilt University. However, he did not play for the Tigers. After playing single-A baseball with the Connecticut Tigers, he was traded from Detroit to Tampa Bay for pitcher Kyle Lobstein of Flagstaff, AZ. Casali then went on to play for the Charlotte Stone Crabs, Montgomery Biscuits, and Durham Bulls before joining the Rays for 30 games in the 2014 Major League Baseball regular season.
At age 32, it will be interesting to see where exactly Casali fits into the grand scheme of things for San Francisco this year. The Giants already have formidable backstopper Buster Posey. However, at 33 years of age, Posey is getting up there in age himself, and by the Giants acquiring and giving $1.5 million for Casali, it is expected he could see significant time behind the plate.
When Casali moves into the lineup, expect Posey to possibly play first base or designated hitter. However, at this time, it is unclear if the designated hitter will be used in the National League in 2021, like it was in 2020.