Report: Diamondbacks sign catcher Ronaldo Hernandez on minor league deal

Dec 20, 2023, 6:40 PM

Ronaldo Hernandez...

Ronaldo Hernandez #59 of the Boston Red Sox poses for a portrait during Boston Red Sox Photo Day at JetBlue Park at Fenway South on February 21, 2023 in Fort Myers, Florida. (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)

(Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)

The Arizona Diamondbacks agreed to a minor league contract with catcher Ronaldo Hernandez, ESPN’s Kiley McDaniel reported on Wednesday.

The deal comes with a spring training invitation.

Hernandez, 26, adds upper minors experience and catching depth to the D-backs, who traded backup catcher Seby Zavala to the Seattle Mariners in the deal for third baseman Eugenio Suarez.

The Colombian backstop was in the Boston Red Sox’s system over the past three seasons, and he spent all of 2023 in Triple-A Worcester.

Hernandez at a time was considered a top 100 prospect by MLB Pipeline (No. 84) and Baseball America (No. 56) while with the Tampa Bay Rays in 2019. Pipeline ranked him the No. 6 prospect in Tampa Bay.

The Red Sox acquired Hernandez and infielder Nick Sogard in a trade in February 2021 for pitchers Jeffrey Springs and Chris Mazza along with cash.

Hernandez slashed .242/.336/.445 last season with 17 home runs and 17 doubles. His strikeout rate dropped from 21% in 2022 to 17.6% in 2023, while his walk rate jumped to a career-high 10.4%.

He has spent the offseason playing in the Dominican Winter League with Gigantes del Cibao.

The Diamondbacks have two catchers on the 40-man roster with starter and Gold Glove winner Gabriel Moreno and Jose Herrera. Herrera backed up Moreno during the postseason since Zavala was added to the organization after Sept. 1 and was not eligible.

Adrian Del Castillo was the No. 67 overall pick in the 2021 draft and reached Triple-A Reno last season.

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Report: Diamondbacks sign catcher Ronaldo Hernandez on minor league deal