Dodgers Minor League Free Agent Tony Wolters Signs With Twins

Although the catcher position is one of the most physically demanding in sports, Will Smith and Austin Barnes avoided the injured list for the entirety of the Los Angeles Dodgers’ 2022 season.

But even with the backstops’ luck staying healthy, the organization still required an MLB-ready catcher as depth, which was the role Tony Wolters filled.

The veteran catcher spent the majority of the 2022 season with Triple-A Oklahoma City, but he had a three-day stint with L.A. while Barnes was on the family emergency list.

This offseason, Wolters elected free agency and has gone on to sign with the Minnesota Twins on a Minor League contract, according to Jon Heyman of The New York Post:

Wolters originally joined the Dodgers’ organization in 2021 on a Minor League deal, and he was designated for assignment on Aug. 15, 2022, following his cup of coffee at the Major League level. He then re-signed with the organization a little more than a week later and finished out the season with OKC.

The Vista, California native batted .230/.321/.284 with nine doubles and 29 RBI over 61 games with the OKC Dodgers. In his Major League stint this past season, Wolters appeared in two games (one start) during a weekend road series against the Kansas City Royals, going a combined 0-for-4 with three strikeouts in those games.

Wolters did not appear in a game with the Dodgers during the 2021 season.

Over his seven seasons with the Dodgers, Colorado Rockies and Chicago Cubs, Wolters has hit .235/.321/.314 across 407 games. He will presumably get an invite to Spring Training in his deal, and he should have a chance to compete for their backup or third-string catcher role.

Dodgers added Minor League catching depth

The Dodgers did sign a pair of catchers to Minor League deals recently, which may have been a precursor to Wolters moving on to a different organization.

The first move signing Patrick Mazeika, a 29-year-old who has spent parts of two seasons with the New York Mets, to a Minor League deal and assigning him to Spring Training.

During the 2022 season, Mazeika hit .191/.214/.294 with four doubles, one home run and six RBI in 72 plate appearances across 24 games, which was similar to his .190/.253/.266 slash line during the 2021 season.

They further bolstered their organizational catching depth with the signing of David Freitas to a Minor League contract. He was assigned to OKC and joins the team after being released from the New York Yankees organization.

In 59 games over parts of three seasons, Freitas hit .200/.268/.288 with eight doubles, one home run and eight RBI.

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