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Former Phillie Andrew Knapp signs minor-league deal with Reds


Andrew Knapp spent parts of five seasons with the Phillies. (Mark Goldman/Icon Sportswire)

Former Philadelphia Phillies catcher Andrew Knapp has a new home.

Shortly before Major League Baseball owners locked the players out, the Cincinnati Reds announced that they had signed Knapp to a minor-league deal that will include an invite to big league spring training.

Knapp was one of six Phillies who elected free agency after being outrighted off the 40-man roster in November.

A second-round pick by the Phillies in the 2013 MLB Draft, Knapp spent parts of five seasons with the Phillies. He was the team’s opening day catcher in 2018, and even posted a .404 on-base percentage in the pandemic-shortened 2020 season.

Ultimately, though, the Phillies decided to look elsewhere for a backup to three-time All-Star J.T. Realmuto after Knapp posted just a .429 OPS in 62 games this past season.

While his deal doesn’t come with any guarantees, Knapp seemingly has a pretty realistic chance to make Cincinnati’s opening day roster. The Reds traded starting catcher Tucker Barnhart to the Detroit Tigers earlier this offseason, and Tyler Stephenson is expected to take over as the team’s starter behind the dish in 2022. Knapp — who Zack Wheeler said this past May would be a starter for most teams — will likely enter camp as the favorite to win the backup catcher’s job.

Interestingly, the Reds listed Knapp as a C/IF in their release, perhaps a sign that they view the 30-year-old as a candidate to play elsewhere on the diamond if the opportunity presents itself. Knapp saw minimal time at both first base and second base in 2021.

No matter what the future holds for Knapp, he’ll always be able to say that he took Jacob deGrom — one of the most dominant pitchers that the sport has seen — deep during the 2020 season:

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