REPORT: Jeff Mathis Signs With Rangers

In what is sure to be a busy offseason for the Arizona Diamondbacks, one of their 11 free agents has reportedly signed with another team after Ken Rosenthal reported the Rangers and catcher Jeff Mathis have agreed to terms pending a physical.

While Mathis was not a thumper in the D-backs’ lineup, he provided tremendous pitch-framing for the club. The team’s pitching vastly improved under his watch, going from the worst ERA in the majors in 2015 to ranking third and sixth in 2016 and 2017, respectively. He was second in the league when it came to fielding runs above average (essentially defensive rating) among catchers. He was also a positive clubhouse presence and the preferred catcher for Zack Greinke. 

The Diamondbacks currently have Alex Avila and John Ryan Murphy, who was tenth in the league in FRAA, under contract at the catcher position. Though, during the Hazen-Lovullo era, the club has kept three catchers on the roster for the majority of the past two seasons.

Catcher prospect Daulton Varsho has risen quickly up the minor leagues rankings, but it is assumed he will need some more minor league time before making the jump to the big league squad.