Jul 2, 2013; Atlanta, GA, USA; Miami Marlins catcher Rob Brantly (19) fields a ground ball for an out in the sixth inning against the Atlanta Braves at Turner Field. Mandatory Credit: Daniel Shirey-USA TODAY Sports
This week, while the Chicago White Sox were making trades and signing free agents, they also made an under-the-radar move by claiming Rob Brantly off waivers from the Miami Marlins.
Brantley, a catcher, has a back-and-forth path with the major and minor leagues, with the 25-year old playing the 2014 season with the Marlins’ Triple-A organization.
In their press release on Brantly, the White Sox wrote the following about their newest player:
"“The 6-foot-1, 195-pound Brantly, who bats left-handed, appeared in 98 games with the Marlins during the 2012-13 seasons, batting .235 (76-323) with four home runs and 26 RBI. He was Miami’s Opening Day catcher in 2013 after hitting .290 (29-100) with three homers and eight RBI in 31 games with the club in 2012.”"
As for his ’14 MiLB season, Brantly did manage to bat .255 with 93 hits (including four home runs), and he also had 37 RBIs.
With the trade for Jeff Samardzija, one of the players sent to the Oakland Athletics was Josh Phegley, the White Sox MiLB catcher for the Charlotte Knights, so as of right now, maybe Brantley will be able to fill in that position within the organization.
Another possibility could be Brantly could be the reserve catcher behind Tyler Flowers.
Brantly also has some AL Central ties because he was originally a third-round selection by the reigning division champion Detroit Tigers in 2010.
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The Chicago Tribune quoted GM Rick Hahn on Brantly:
"“We like that Brantly is left-handed, is still young,” Hahn said. “His receiving skills started solid, regressed a little bit and actually improved in recent months, according to our reports. … He’s an interesting guy.”"
I like how maybe Brantly will provide some competition at the catcher position either in a starting or reserve role, and this isn’t a bad move at all by the White Sox. It is an under-the-radar move that could provide a decent return next season.