Philadelphia Phillies catcher Andrew Knapp won’t receive a single paycheck during the 60-game 2020 season.
As Ronald Blum of The Associated Press notes, Major League Baseball advanced players $170 million in March, as the player’s association attempted to keep players afloat when the season was initially suspended due to COVID-19.
Knapp received $262,943 as part of the advance, per the AP. The 28-year-old had settled on $710,000 to avoid arbitration with the Phillies in December. Players salaries have been prorated to 60 games, meaning players will only earn approximately 37 percent of their expected salaries for the 2020 season. 37 percent of $710,000 is 262,700, a figure that Knapp has already exceeded. So maybe he isn’t playing for free in 2020, but he’s playing to pay back the money he’s already been paid for the season.
Knapp, entering his fourth season, is expected to be J.T. Realmuto’s backup in 2020. Matt Klentak did suggest earlier this week in his meeting with the media that the Phillies are likely to add another catcher to their initial roster pool, which featured just three catchers, but it seems unlikely that anyone they add will usurp Knapp.
Though often maligned, Knapp has walked 73 times in 579 career plate appearances, so he’s demonstrated an ability to get on base at a respectable clip for a backup catcher. Additionally, the former second-round pick did improve defensively by just about all metrics following a fairly disastrous 2018 season behind the plate.
Coincidentally, it’s also the two-year anniversary of the best moment of Knapp’s career, a 13th-inning walk-off home run:
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