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Pirates Bolster Their Backstops, Agree to Contract With Free Agent Catcher Austin Hedges



Pittsburgh Pirates- Austin Hedges

Pittsburgh Baseball Now confirmed a report by the New York Post’s Jon Heyman that the Pirates signed free agent catcher Austin Hedges to a one-year deal worth $5 million. 

The Pirates didn’t have a single catcher with big league experience on their 40-man roster. Hedges will help bridge the gap while highly-touted catching prospect Endy Rodriguez works through the minors. 

Hedges, 30, is an eight-year MLB veteran who played 105 games for the Guardians in 2022, slashing .163/.241/.248 with seven home runs. Despite the poor offensive numbers, Hedges called pitches for some of the best arms in Major League Baseball, helping the Guardians to a third-best 2.65 team ERA. 

Cleveland’s pitchers also possessed the lowest average age, just over 26, so Hedges could provide a calming presence for a young staff as the Pirates continue to rebuild. 

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