There has been plenty of activity around Major League Baseball so far in the early part of this offseason, with several teams trying to get things done before the current Collective Bargaining Agreement expires, at which point the owners will almost surely lockout the players. The Milwaukee Brewers are one of the franchises who have been in on the action, and earlier this afternoon they were reported to have signed their second MLB free agent this offseason:
Catcher Pedro Severino and the Milwaukee Brewers are in agreement on a one-year, $1.9 million contract, pending physical, sources familiar with the deal tell ESPN. Severino, 28, will join Omar Narvaez at catcher and has incentives in the deal that can earn him another $400,000.— Jeff Passan (@JeffPassan) November 21, 2021
Pedro Severino, 28, began his professional career in 2010 after signing with the Washington Nationals as an international free agent. He debuted in the big leagues with the Nats as a 21 year old in 2015 and has appeared in each of the last seven MLB seasons, totaling 362 games with the Nationals and Orioles. Baltimore claimed Severino off waivers from the Nationals prior to the 209 season, then outrighted him and allowed him to become a free agent after the conclusion of the most recent campaign.
For his career, Severino owns a .235/.305/.372 slash line with 33 home runs across 1,220 plate appearances, for an 88 wRC+. He’s received the bulk of the playing time behind the plate for the Orioles during the last three seasons, including a career-high 113 games and 419 plate appearances in 2021. He hit .248/.308/.383 with 11 home runs for an 87 wRC+, punching out 26% of the time while drawing free passes at an 8.1% clip. For his career, the right-handed batting Severino owns a .262/.324/.441 against southpaw pitchers; he should pair well in a platoon with lefty-swinging Omar Narvaez, who owns a 78 wRC+ all-time against same-handed pitchers but handles righties to the tune of a 112 wRC+.
Severino has been a solid catch-and-throw defender behind the plate, nabbing 28% of would-be base stealers in his career, but he’s led the American League in passed balls each of the last two seasons while earning negative marks for his pitch framing. Severino has been a liability behind the plate, with -18 Defensive Runs Saved across 2,500+ innings. Narvaez had that same kind of reputation before joining the Menomonee Valley Nine, however; catching coordinator Charlie Green is well-respected throughout the game and has helped Narvaez, Manny Pina, Jacob Nottinghman, and others tangibly improve their defensive abilities behind the plate. The hope is that Severino can also thrive under his tutelage.
Severino had been projected to earn $3.1 mil in arbitration with the Orioles before he was cut loose, and will now get a base salary of $1.9 mil with the Brewers along with the possibility to earn up to $2.3 mil with incentives. Severino is out of minor league options, but he can be controlled via arbitration for another season after 2022, if the Brewers so choose.
With Luke Maile electing free agency and Manny Pina signing in Atlanta, that left youngster Mario Feliciano as the only backstop on the 40-man roster behind Narvaez. Now Severino appears ticketed to the backup gig, allowing Feliciano to continue to his development in Triple-A at the start of 2022.
Statistics courtesy of Baseball-Reference and FanGraphs