SAN FRANCISCO -- Intending to add savvy and depth behind the plate, the Giants announced Tuesday that free-agent catcher Nick Hundley has agreed to terms on a one-year, $2 million contract.Hundley, 33, has played all but 50 of his 746 games for San Diego and Colorado, two of San Francisco's
SAN FRANCISCO -- Intending to add savvy and depth behind the plate, the Giants announced Tuesday that free-agent catcher Nick Hundley has agreed to terms on a one-year, $2 million contract.
Hundley, 33, has played all but 50 of his 746 games for San Diego and Colorado, two of San Francisco's National League West rivals.
"His experience overall brings added value to our club," Giants general manager Bobby Evans said.
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Hundley has compiled a .250/.303/.404 slash line for three teams in nine Major League seasons. He has performed proficiently at AT&T Park, where he owns a .278 batting average in 31 games. For the Rockies last season, Hundley batted .260/.320/.439 with 10 home runs and 48 RBIs in 83 games while dividing catching duties with Tony Wolters, Dustin Garneau and Tom Murphy.
Unlike most Rockies, Hundley hit more impressively on the road last year (.275/.331/.472, six home runs and 28 RBIs in 42 games) than at hitter-friendly Coors Field (.245/.309/.408, four homers and 20 RBIs in 41 games).
A right-handed batter, Hundley also has defied typical percentages by hitting better against right-handers (.256 batting average, .419 slugging percentage) than lefties (.233, .363).
Hundley's career catcher's ERA is 4.34, compared with the Major League average of 4.04 over the same stretch, according to baseball-reference.com. Sabermetrically, he's rated favorably on active and career lists in range factor.
The Giants welcomed Hundley's mere presence. Evans noted that before obtaining Hundley, San Francisco had only two catchers on its 40-man roster, Buster Posey and Trevor Brown. That left the club facing a possible personnel shortage, though Posey started a personal-high 122 games at catcher last season. Evans said the Giants expect Posey to handle a similar workload this year.
"Every season, the more we can keep Buster behind the plate and healthy, the stronger the team is," Evans said.
Hundley is not related to either Randy Hundley or his son, Todd Hundley, who happened to be All-Star catchers. Randy Hundley began his professional career in the Giants system and played eight games for San Francisco in 1964-65.
Evans indicated that Brown, San Francisco's incumbent backup catcher, likely will open the season with Triple-A Sacramento. Evans said Brown, who replaced injury-plagued Andrew Susac as San Francisco's No. 2 catcher last spring, "has progressed extremely well" in mastering the position. As a converted infielder, Brown might receive chances in Spring Training to demonstrate his versatility by playing multiple positions. The 25-year-old hit .237 with five home runs and 19 RBIs in 75 games as a rookie last season.
To clear 40-man roster room for Hundley, the Giants designated infielder Ehire Adrianza for assignment.
Evans also elaborated somewhat on the Giants' agreement with free-agent third baseman Jae-gyun Hwang on a one-year Minor League deal with an invitation to Major League camp.
"We're very fortunate he chose us," Evans said of Hwang, who will earn $1.5 million if he makes the big league club. Evans didn't address Hwang's anticipated role, though he did say that the Korean has the potential to help the team "at some point this year."
Chris Haft has covered the Giants since 2005, and for MLB.com since 2007. Follow him on Twitter at @sfgiantsbeat and listen to his podcast.