Veteran catcher elects free agency

Cam Gallagher, the veteran catcher, has chosen free agency after being designated for assignment by the Guardians.

The Guardians made room for Christian Bethancourt by designating Gallagher, who cleared waivers and opted for free agency.

Gallagher's offensive struggles in 2023, with a .126/.154/.168 slash line and a -17 wRC+, made him a non-tender candidate.

The Guardians had a tumultuous situation at catcher last season, with seven different players in the position.

Bo Naylor's emergence as the starting catcher contributed to Gallagher's diminished role with the Guardians.

Gallagher, known for his defensive skills, had a strong year in 2023, being above average at framing and blocking.

The Guardians projected Gallagher to earn $1.3M through arbitration in 2024, but he may need to settle for a minor league contract.

Turning 31 next month, Gallagher has played 227 MLB games over seven seasons with the Royals and Guardians.

Despite offensive struggles, Gallagher's positive defensive contributions include throwing out nine of 52 baserunners in 2023.

Gallagher's future likely involves competing for a backup role in Spring Training with another team after choosing free agency.

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