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Tigers acquire catcher depth in swap with Boston

Jhon Nunez will be at Spring Training with the chance to steady the catching pipeline
@beckjason
January 17, 2020

DETROIT -- The Tigers added to their organizational catching depth on Friday by acquiring Jhon Nunez from the Red Sox in exchange for left-hander Matt Hall. Nunez will attend big league camp this Spring Training as a non-roster invite. The Tigers designated Hall for assignment on Monday to open a

DETROIT -- The Tigers added to their organizational catching depth on Friday by acquiring Jhon Nunez from the Red Sox in exchange for left-hander Matt Hall.

Nunez will attend big league camp this Spring Training as a non-roster invite. The Tigers designated Hall for assignment on Monday to open a 40-man roster spot for right-hander Ivan Nova.

TRADE DETAILS
Tigers get: C Jhon Nunez
Red Sox get: LHP Matt Hall

Though the 5-foot-9 Nunez has a low profile behind the plate, he created a solid presence at Double-A Portland, earning Eastern League midseason All-Star honors. The switch-hitter batted .280 (59-for-211) with 11 doubles, five home runs, 21 RBIs and a .746 OPS for the Sea Dogs. Behind the plate, he threw out 30 of 72 would-be basestealers, good enough for a 42 percent caught-stealing rate. His nine errors and 13 passed balls in 62 games at catcher were a cause for concern.

Nunez, who turned 25 last month, becomes the third catcher acquired by the Tigers in the last five months. Detroit signed free agent Austin Romine in mid-December, then acquired Eric Haase from the Indians last week. Add in Grayson Greiner and Jake Rogers, and the Tigers have renewed depth in the upper levels of the Minor Leagues after admittedly rushing Rogers to the Majors last summer for depth concerns.

Hall’s departure from the Tigers system comes a year and a half after he won Tigers Minor League Pitcher of the Year honors in 2018 and made his Major League debut. The 26-year-old southpaw made 16 appearances out of Detroit’s bullpen last year, allowing 20 runs on 28 hits over 23 1/3 innings despite 27 strikeouts. His high strikeout rate and spin rate, however, made him appealing to other clubs once he hit the waiver wire.

Jason Beck has covered the Tigers for MLB.com since 2002. Read Beck's Blog and follow him on Twitter @beckjason.