White Sox, Blue Jays swap catchers Collins, McGuire

April 4th, 2022

GLENDALE, Ariz. -- The White Sox acquired catcher Reese McGuire from the Blue Jays in exchange for catcher Zack Collins on Sunday.

McGuire, 27, figures to move into the backup role behind Yasmani Grandal. It was an important spot for the White Sox, with manager Tony La Russa talking during Spring Training about giving Grandal a couple of days off his feet per week in the designated hitter’s slot.

“Reese McGuire is a player we’ve targeted for a while,” White Sox general manager Rick Hahn said. “We view him as a very strong defensive backstop, solid on framing and lateral movement as well as catching and throwing and handling a game plan and managing a pitching staff. 

“[He is] someone we view as a nice addition. Good complement to Yas, and someone we look forward to arriving here in the next couple of days before we head out.”

Pittsburgh made McGuire its top pick in the 2013 MLB Draft before he was traded to the Blue Jays with Francisco Liriano and Harold Ramirez for Drew Hutchison on Aug. 1, 2016. The left-handed hitting McGuire, who is out of Minor League options, has a career slash line of .278/.329/.431 against right-handed pitchers and hit .253 with one home run and 10 RBIs overall in a career-high 78 games during the ’21 season.

McGuire has thrown out 22 baserunners in 73 steal attempts during parts of four MLB seasons, including 11 of 31 in 2021. Seby Zavala and Nick Ciuffo are in camp with the White Sox competing for the backup position, while McGuire will have to learn the White Sox pitchers quickly with the season beginning Friday.

“I know he’s a really good catcher,” said White Sox starter Lucas Giolito of McGuire joining the team. “I’d say it’s a welcome challenge. Major League catchers are very good at quickly picking up and learning. Those guys work very, very hard."

Collins, 27, was the White Sox top pick in the 2016 MLB Draft and hit .195 with a .645 OPS over 114 games. Collins was optioned to Triple-A Charlotte on Friday.