Catcher Pedro Severino triggered an opt-out clause in his minor league contract with the Padres, reports Jeff Sanders of the San Diego Union-Tribune (Twitter link). He heads back to the open market after the Friars granted him his release in lieu of adding him to the major league roster.
Severino, 29, has appeared in parts of eight major league seasons. He was a backup with the Nationals for a few years before getting starting run for the Orioles between 2019-21. A capable offensive catcher, Severino never rated highly behind the dish in the estimation of public defensive marks. The O’s cut him loose after 2021 with Adley Rutschman nearing the majors. He signed with the Brewers for 2022 but was suspended before the start of the season after failing a performance-enhancing drug test. He’d appear in only eight games for Milwaukee.
The Friars signed Severino to a minor league deal over the winter. He was assigned to Triple-A El Paso, where he tallied 75 plate appearances over 18 games. The right-handed hitter put up a solid .286/.400/.476 line with three home runs and more walks (12) than strikeouts (10). He threw out only three out of 20 attempted basestealers in 132 1/3 innings of work, however.
San Diego didn’t give Severino a major league look in spite of significant offensive woes from their catchers. The Friars have been without Luis Campusano since mid-April because of a torn ligament in his left thumb. They’ve turned to a combination of Austin Nola and Brett Sullivan behind the dish. Nola is hitting .161/.253/.209 with three extra-base hits over 102 plate appearances. Sullivan has a .176/.200/.324 mark in his first 35 big league trips.
Severino’s .248/.316/.396 batting line going back to 2019 indicates he probably would’ve provided a boost at the plate. The Friars will stick with the more defensively-minded duo of Nola and Sullivan instead. Severino will look for other opportunities in free agency.
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