The Detroit Tigers have acquired catcher Cameron Rupp from the San Francisco Giants, according to a report from Anthony Fenech of the Detroit Free Press. Rupp, 30, previously played for the Philadelphia Phillies, where he hit .234/.298/.407 in 296 games.
Rupp was originally drafted by the Phillies in the third round of the 2010 amateur draft. He hit well in the minors, posting solid on-base percentages in his first few years in their system. He made his MLB debut in 2013, when he appeared in four games for the Phillies. He did not receive significant playing time until 2015, when he hit .233/.301/.374 in 81 games. His numbers improved somewhat in 2016, when he managed a 98 OPS+ in a career-high 419 plate appearances.
Despite hitting a combined 30 home runs between 2016 and 2017, Rupp did not appear in the majors last year. He played for three different organizations, all at the Triple-A level, before the Giants signed him on January 24.
Defensively, Rupp is nothing to write home about. He was one of the worst pitch framers in baseball in 2017, finishing just ahead of former Tigers catcher James McCann with -13.0 framing runs. Defensive Runs Saved (DRS) views him similarly, at -10 DRS in the 2016 and 2017 seasons.
Rupp could possibly be in the mix for a backup job at the major league level, but odds are he will serve as minor league catching depth. His acquisition could mean good things for Bobby Wilson, an excellent pitch framer and defender currently signed to a minor league deal, or it could just be a move to help bolster depth throughout the organization. The Tigers will carry Grayson Greiner and John Hicks on their 25-man roster, but could opt for a third catcher if needed.
The return for Rupp has not yet been revealed, though odds are the Tigers did not pay much for the veteran backstop. We will update this article when more information becomes available on the deal.