The Red Sox have continued their trend of adding veterans to minor league contracts, coming to terms with journeyman catcher Humberto Quintero on a minor league deal.
The 35-year old Quintero has spent roughly the last decade as a backup catcher, with the majority of his service time coming with the Houston Astros. Over his 12 year career, he has a career .234/.267/.327 slash line and has earned a reputation as a strong defensive catcher.
Quintero has most recently been a part of the Seattle Mariners organization, spending half of his 2013 season and the entire 2014 season in the organization. However, he has not seen much major league time lately, playing in just 3 major league games last season and failing to record a hit in just 2 plate appearances. He spent most of last season with Seattle’s Triple-A affiliate in Tacoma, where he slashed .290/.311/.425 in 74 games.
With promising youngsters Christian Vazquez (who will be Boston’s starting catcher this season) and Blake Swihart (who is considered the top catching prospect in baseball and will start the year in Triple-A) already on the roster, in addition to defensive-minded backup catcher Ryan Hanigan, playing time might be tough to come by for Quintero, though. There’s almost no chance that he sees playing time in Boston this season, barring an injury in the first few weeks or months of the season (before Swihart is major league ready), and he’ll likely serve as a backup to Swihart in Pawtucket.
He’s not an exciting addition, but compiling depth is rarely exciting. Quintero offers very little upside, but in a worst-case scenario, he could serve as an unspectacular backup catcher for the Red Sox. Realistically, though, expect to see Quintero a handful of times in spring training and then never see him again, unless you attend quite a few PawSox games.