The Houston Astros wanted to have catcher depth, seeing that starter Brian McCann is 33 years old, and so they acquired free agent Juan Centeno, a former catcher for the Minnesota Twins. At 27 years old, Centeno has shown the ability to hit for a decent average, as he hit .261 in 55 games in 2016. Centeno has backup catcher written all over him.
Centeno will likely start the year at Triple-A Fresno as the catcher position is set in Houston. He and Stassi will battle it out this spring for the third catcher spot. Centeno has more Major League experience though so he would be the ideal emergency catcher. But Stassi has shown flashes of potential, so the job isn’t going just to be handed to Centeno.
While the third catcher spot is not one that is going to get a ton of publicity, it is an important one for this organization. Depth is important to a team looking to make a playoff push, and the duo of Stassi and Centeno affords the Astros plenty of depth at catcher. One could argue that Houston really does have the look of the deepest team in baseball.
**Statistics courtesy of Baseball Reference**