Texas Rangers transactions: Catcher Carlos Perez was claimed on waivers by the Texas Rangers on Wednesday, and to clear a spot on the 40 man roster for Perez on Thursday, when he reported, the Rangers designated catcher Juan Centeno for assignment roughly an hour before game time.
Centeno, 28, had been claimed on waivers from the Houston Astros by the Rangers this past offseason, and beat out Brett Nicholas and various NRIs for the backup catcher job at the start of the season. Centeno put up a .162/.184/.270 slash line for the Rangers in 38 plate appearances before being cut loose yesterday. Since he has been outrighted once before, he can become a free agent if he clears waivers, and I suspect that’s the route he would go.
We talked about Perez on Wednesday, after the claim was made. He’s bounced around, and spent 2015 and 2016 as a backup for the Angels, appeared with them briefly in 2017, and has been the Braves’ backup catcher in 2018. He hasn’t hit in his career — he’s a .221/.264/.325 career slash line guy -- but he’s been very good at throwing out runners and is generally considered to be a strong defensive catcher. Jeff Banister’s comments about the move seemed to indicate that Perez is someone who the team sees as being a defensive upgrade, and who they think has some potential upside with the bat. The Rangers have, during Jon Daniels’ time with the club, generally emphasized catcher defense, so if they see him as a significant step up from Centeno, then this move would not be surprising.
Perez is out of options, so, like Renato Nunez, the Rangers have to keep him on the major league roster or expose him to waivers. We shall see how long he sticks around.