Pirates ink Wolters, Goodwin to Minors deals

February 11th, 2021

PITTSBURGH -- The Pirates announced on Thursday that the club agreed to terms with catcher and outfielder on Minor League contracts with invitations to Spring Training.

Per an industry source, Wolters can make $1.4 million if he makes the Major League roster, while Goodwin is slated for $1.6 million if he makes the roster with up to $900,000 in bonuses.

Wolters, 28, was the starting catcher for the Rockies in 2019 and ‘20. His 35 starts last season were the fifth most by any catcher in MLB, although his most recent campaign saw his bat cool off.

The left-handed-hitting Wolters slashed .230/.280/.270 with four doubles in 100 at-bats. He also saw a spike in K%, moving from 16.5% to 27.5% from 2019 to ‘20, which led to a drop in on-base percentage from .337 to .280.

Wolters will likely compete with Michael Perez for the backup spot behind starter Jacob Stallings, whose framing and offense is a small step ahead of either option.

Like Wolters, Goodwin saw a decrease in production as last season came to a close. After posting a .795 OPS in parts of two seasons (2019-20) with the Angels, the 30-year-old hit .163 with a .563 OPS in 20 games after being dealt to the Reds for two prospects.

Goodwin’s K% jumped to 32.9% in ‘20, which was in the bottom 5% of the Majors, though he made slight gains in barrel rate and continued to show above-average speed (28.1 ft/sec). That speed helped him rack up five outs above average as a regular in 2019 with the Angels.

Wolters uses a quick 1.97-second pop time to help catch runners despite his slightly below-average arm (79.6 mph). He is tied for sixth among all catchers since 2016 with 10 stolen bases runs saved (rSB), per FanGraphs.

The signing of Wolters comes nearly two weeks after the Pirates signed catcher Joe Hudson to a Minor League deal with an invitation to Spring Training, and the club also has Andrew Susac and Christian Kelley in its ranks as further depth.

Goodwin will compete with Anthony Alford and potentially Pirates No. 12 prospect Jared Oliva for the regular reps in center field, but he can play all three outfield positions and should be a versatile option off the bench.