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Perrotto: Ben Cherington Convinced This $5 Million Well-Spent (+)

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Pittsburgh Pirates- Austin Hedges

The contract is enough to make any old-school baseball person’s blood pressure rise to dangerous levels.

The Pittsburgh Pirates signed free-agent catcher Austin Hedges to a one-year, $5-million contract earlier this week even though he hit .163 for the Cleveland Guardians last season. In fact, the 30-year-old’s batting average hasn’t been higher than .178 in any of the last four years.

However, by all the modern metrics, Hedges’ defense is elite. His 75 defensive runs saved over the last five seasons are the most of any catcher in the major leagues.

Pirates general manager Ben Cherington believes Hedges is worth $5 million just on that measurement alone. And maybe more when intangibles are thrown into the mix.

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