Phillies Sign Catcher Ryan Hanigan to Minor League Deal

Apr 29, 2016; Boston, MA, USA; Boston Red Sox relief pitcher Craig Kimbrel (46) congratulates catcher Ryan Hanigan (10) after defeating the New York Yankees at Fenway Park. Mandatory Credit: Bob DeChiara-USA TODAY Sports
Apr 29, 2016; Boston, MA, USA; Boston Red Sox relief pitcher Craig Kimbrel (46) congratulates catcher Ryan Hanigan (10) after defeating the New York Yankees at Fenway Park. Mandatory Credit: Bob DeChiara-USA TODAY Sports /
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Ryan Hanigan provides much-needed veteran depth in the Phillies organization

With Cameron Rupp and prospect Andrew Knapp expected to enter 2017 on the opening day roster, the Phillies will have a hole in Triple-A Lehigh Valley.

Jorge Alfaro, one of the organization’s top prospects, will get his at-bats in Lehigh Valley as the starter. After Rupp, Knapp, and Alfaro the Phillies had little depth at catcher, especially someone with some major, major league experience.

General manager Matt Klentak addressed the need on Wednesday by signing 36-year-old Ryan Hanigan to a minor league deal. Hanigan, who spent last season with the Red Sox, will receive an invitation to spring training with the major league club.

A 10-year veteran, Hanigan is a name Phillies fans should recognize. He spent his first seven seasons with the Reds as a .262 hitter before moving to Tampa Bay. After one season with the Rays, Hanigan ended up in Boston for two years.

While with Cincinnati Hanigan was on the playoff team no-hit by Roy Halladay in the NLDS. Hanigan did not play in Halladay’s no-hitter, but was 0-3 the following night when the Phillies scored seven unanswered runs.

Wasn’t that fun?

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Adding a veteran catcher was on my offseason to-do list, but with Knapp expected to start in the majors, Hanigan will sit behind Alfaro in Lehigh Valley. Having Hanigan as an insurance guy who can make an emergency start if Rupp is hurt and Knapp needs a day off.

While I originally preferred Jarod Saltalamacchia, Hannigan will work just as well.

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