Most of the MLB contenders have started to make moves in the offseason.
However, that doesn’t mean that teams with slightly lower expectations for the 2023 campaign aren’t active.
The Cincinnati Reds are a prime example.
They signed catcher Luke Maile, formerly on the Cleveland Guardians, to a one-year, $1.75 million contract on Tuesday.
Welcome to Reds Country, Luke Maile!
— Cincinnati Reds (@Reds) November 28, 2022
The veteran will go from a backup situation to another one, offering experience and a rock-solid defensive profile to the rebuilding Reds.
Maile will likely function as Tyler Stephenson‘s backup in Cincinnati next season.
He wasn’t supposed to enter free agency until after the 2023 campaign, but the Guardians non-tendered him a few weeks ago because they needed roster spots.
His offensive performance in 2022 wasn’t particularly good, as he hit .221/.301/.326 over 76 games (206 plate appearances) for Cleveland.
A Good Defensive Profile
He had three home runs and a .627 OPS.
However, his performance behind the plate keeps guaranteeing him a job in the big leagues, where he has played with the Tampa Bay Rays, the Toronto Blue Jays, the Milwaukee Brewers, and the Guards.
He is a good framer and has a lot of experience handling a major league pitching staff.
Stephenson is, by far, a superior hitter, but it doesn’t hurt to have a veteran catcher like Maile mentoring the young starter behind the plate.
If Stephenson stays healthy, however, Maile probably won’t be playing much in 2023.
Still, it’s a low-risk solid signing for the Reds as they try to improve their 2022 performance.
This past season, they were 62-100 and occupied last place in the NL Central division.
Maile hopes to help them be better.