The White Sox have acquired Max Staci and cash considerations from the Braves in exchange for naming the player later. Both teams have announced the deal. for every Darrell Van Schoen of the Chicago Sun-Timesthe Braves are expected to pay the majority of Stassi’s $7 million salary next season.
Stassi, who turned 33 in March, spent just one day in the Braves organization after being acquired from the Angels yesterday in a multi-player deal with the Angels along with infielder David Fletcher. Now, the veteran catcher travels to his third organization in two days, where he is expected to have the opportunity to take on a regular role on Chicago’s South Side. The White Sox lost Yasmani Grandal To free up the agency earlier this season they needed a veteran backup to pair with the youngster Corey Lee Behind the plate in 2024.
It’s a need that Stacy is more than capable of meeting. While the veteran missed the entire 2023 season, the first half of his absence was due to a left hip strain that prevented him from being on Anaheim’s opening roster last season. Stassi recovered from that problem midway through the season, but he and his wife open Last month, the birth of their son three months premature necessitated Stassi stepping away from the game and caring for his family for the remainder of the 2023 season.
However, Stassi is expected to return to the field in 2024 and has shown himself as a big league player over the past few seasons. Initially drafted by the A’s in the fourth round of the 2009 draft, Stassi made his big league debut in 2013 with the Astros but did not find a regular role in the major leagues until the 2018 season when he split time behind the plate in Houston with Brian McCann And Martin Maldonado. Stassi did well for himself in a backup role that season, slashing a respectable .226/.316/.394 in 250 plate appearances. While Stassi struggled through 51 games in 2019, prompting the Astros to trade him to the Angels at that year’s trade deadline, Stassi was given a more prominent role upon his arrival in Anaheim.
In 118 games between the shortened 2020 campaign and his first full season as an Angel in 2021, Stassi combined above-average offense at the plate (113 wRC+) with solid defense behind him to be ninth-best in the league according to fWAR. This strong performance led the Angels to sign Stassi to an extension, although that would be an unlucky decision. As effective as Stassi was over those two seasons, he took a step back in 2022, slashing a meager .180/.267/.363 (63 wRC+) at the plate while posting frame numbers that were closer to average than the elite figures he hit. He had published it earlier in his career.
While Stassi’s struggles in 2022 and his time away from the game in 2023 make the Angels and Braves’ decision to go in another direction behind the plate in 2024 an understandable one, it’s easy to see why adding Stassi would be interesting for the White Sox. After all, Lee has less than 100 games of experience in the major leagues, and even if the club believes the former top-100 prospect is the catcher of the future, he will certainly need time and an assistant as he looks to transition to a new coach. A new role as a full-time senior player. Adding a veteran player like Stassi should help with that turnaround, while also creating a ton of upside for Chicago. Stassi’s contract includes a $7 million club option for 2025 that includes a $500,000 buyout; If the veteran outfielder can recapture the form he showed in 2020 and 2021, a $6.5 million decision would be a no-brainer to pick up and make an attractive trade chip as the White Sox retool their roster with an eye on the future.
For the Braves, the deal wipes a portion of Stassi’s salary off their books while clearing an unnecessary portion of their roster. Atlanta already had one of the best tandems in the game Sean Murphy And Travis d’Arnaud behind the plate, making the Stasi largely unnecessary. In conjunction with the trade that brought Stassi and Fletcher to Atlanta for Evan White And the package that shipped Marco Gonzalez As for the Buccaneers, the Braves have cut nearly $5 million from their payroll since then Get Gonzalez and White as part of Jared Kelenic Trade during the Winter Meetings and add a bench piece in Fletcher who fits the club’s roster better than either Gonzales, White or Stassi.
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