The New York Yankees have added quality depth by signing Chris Iannetta. The catcher has played for four teams in his career.
Iannetta’s entering his age-36 season. He’s spent 14 seasons in the majors with four teams, including the Colorado Rockies, Arizona Diamondbacks, Los Angeles Angels, and the Seattle Mariners.
In his 14-year career, Iannetta has never been an All-Star or won any awards. He’s also only had three seasons with at least one fWAR.
The underwhelming career as a starter aside, Iannetta provides excellent depth. His defense is still average for a catcher, and he still provides power at the plate. He also still has his trademark discipline at the plate. Iannetta’s never had a season with under an 11% walk rate although his strikeout rate has skyrocketed as he’s aged. Last season, Iannetta struck out in 32.9% of his at-bats in 2019.
Having a player who can provide solid defense and on-base ability in the minors is a necessity. The Yankees are relying on Kyle Higashioka to be the primary backup.
The 30-year-old Higashioka has only appeared in 56 games at the major-league level. He lacks experience and tools. It’s very possible that he underperforms as a full-time backup, which means the Yankees need good depth.
Iannetta has a chance to beat out Higashioka in spring training for the backup job. Even if he doesn’t, it’s possible Iannetta will see time at the major-league level. Gary Sanchez has failed to stay healthy for a full season.
Fans better get acquainted with Iannetta because he could play a key role on the 2020 Yankees.