MESA, Ariz. -- The A's beefed up their catching depth with the signing of well-regarded veteran Nick Hundley, who joined the club on a Minor League deal ahead of the team's first workout for pitchers and catchers Monday morning.Hundley joins Josh Phegley and fellow newcomer Chris Herrmann in the catching
MESA, Ariz. -- The A's beefed up their catching depth with the signing of well-regarded veteran Nick Hundley, who joined the club on a Minor League deal ahead of the team's first workout for pitchers and catchers Monday morning.
Hundley joins Josh Phegley and fellow newcomer Chris Herrmann in the catching competition, effectively ending the team's winter-long search for backstops. Sean Murphy, the club's top catching prospect, is considered close behind them.
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"I think right now it's not an area we're sort of aggressively pursuing," A's executive vice president of baseball operations Billy Beane said. "Unless there's an injury, we anticipate going with what we have."
Hundley seemingly has a legitimate shot at cracking the A's Opening Day roster, but at the expense of Phegley, who also bats from the right side and hit just .204 last year. One of them will likely form a platoon with Herrmann.
"You always need depth," A's manager Bob Melvin said. "We like all three of these guys. We would've been fine going into the season with the other two. This just adds to the depth, and we'll figure it out in the end."
A veteran of 11 big league seasons, the 35-year-old Hundley hit .241 with 10 home runs in 96 games for the Giants in 2018. Along with a dose of pop, Hundley brings vast experience behind the plate, which will only help a mostly young A's staff that largely benefited from vet Jonathan Lucroy last year.
"He's a gamer, a guy that gets it behind the plate," Melvin said of Hundley. "Someone we've been talking about for a little while. We did some homework and actually got to see him last year and how instrumental he was over there. He's one of those quarterbacks on the field, and I think he's a big pickup for us. We're excited about it, and I know he's excited about being here."
Hundley said he was in talks with as many as seven clubs in the past week, ultimately pinpointing Oakland as the best fit.
"The organization, the talented team, the way that they conduct their business. Playing against them," Hundley said, "I've always respected the way their players play the game, and always from afar it's one of those organizations that you look at and say, 'Yeah, I'd like to play for them at some stage of my career.'"
Jane Lee has covered the A's for MLB.com since 2010.