Padres sign Pedro Severino

The Padres agree on a split deal with Catcher Pedro Severinreports Robert Murray from FanSided (Twitter link). The deal will net him $1.95 million if he plays in the majors and includes an additional $550,000 in performance bonuses, according to Murray.

Severino, 29, has appeared in each of the majors for the past eight seasons. He established himself as a depth player at the Nationals, playing in 35 combined games between 2015-17. The backstop got quite a bit of action over the next four seasons, which he split between the Nats and Orioles. While he struggled mightily in his final season in Washington, he posted respectable offensive numbers for a catcher during his three years in Baltimore.

From 2019–21, Severino achieved .249/.315/.397 through 938 plate appearances. He tied 29 home runs with about average league strikeout and walk counts. Still, the Orioles didn’t list him in lieu of a projected $3.1 million arbitration salary last offseason.

While partly motivated by the impending arrival of Adley traction man, the O’s decision also reflected Severino’s defensive weaknesses. Public metrics have identified him as a far underperforming defense attorney behind the court. He’s routinely ranked as an underperforming pitch framer, according to Statcast, which put him underperforming in that regard in 2021 with 10 runs. Severino was behind the plate Oriole in his last season with 10 passes and 66 wild pitches in 883 innings. That was the second-highest total in MLB in both categories, and while the pitching staff certainly has some responsibility, it didn’t reflect his job as a receiver very well.

After being fired from Baltimore, he made a $1.9 million free agent deal with the Brewers. Before the start of the season, Severino tested positive for the performance-enhancing drug clomiphene. He attributed the result to an unintended by-product of fertility treatments he underwent in the Dominican Republic.

Severino was suspended for 80 games. Milwaukee acquired immediately after this ban Victor Caratini from the padres to mate Omar Narvaez. The Brewers rehired Severino in July, but he appeared as the team’s No. 3 catch in just eight games before being drafted. He was unclaimed on waivers and played the season at Triple-A Nashville, where he hit .308/.349/.496 with four homers over 126 plate appearances.

The right-hander qualified for the minor league free agency at the end of the year. He finds a new landing spot in San Diego, the fourth organization of his career. The brothers currently have Austin Nola, Luis Campusano and Brett Sullivan (coincidentally part of the Caratini trade pack) as backstops on the 40-man roster. Severino slides behind this group as a depth option.

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