Cam Gallagher elects to become free agent

Minnesota Twins v Cleveland Guardians
Minnesota Twins v Cleveland Guardians / Ron Schwane/GettyImages

Just a few days after being designated for assignment by the Cleveland Guardians, veteran catcher Cam Gallagher has elected to test the waters of free agency.

Gallagher became expendable for the Guardians following the ballclub's decision to claim Christian Bethancourt on waivers from the Tampa Bay Rays. As things stand currently, Bethancourt is expected to serve in a backup role behind Bo Naylor. With Naylor and Bethancourt occupying the top two spots on the major league depth chart, the opportunity for playing time on the big league roster no longer existed for Gallagher.

Gallagher came to Cleveland after making 171 appearances over six seasons with the Kansas City Royals. The soon-to-be 31-year-old backstop was never rostered for his offensive abilities, slashing just .211/.266/.307 with 33 doubles, seven home runs, and 46 runs driven in through 2023. Instead, Gallagher was able to continue making appearances for major league ballclubs due to his ability to handle a major league staff. It is that latter point that was a driving force behind Gallagher being on the Guardians last season.

Cleveland began the season with Mike Zunino as their primary catcher. A signing that was meant to boost their offense in exchange for lesser defense behind the plate. This made having Gallagher as a second catcher on their roster an absolute necessity. Unfortunately, things did not work out with Zunino, as the Guardians decided to part ways with him during this season. However, this did not mean the end of Gallagher's time with the team. Cleveland would eventually call up and hand the keys to the starting catcher position to the younger Naylor, and that still meant that Gallagher had a place on this roster.

With the team now looking ahead to the 2024 season, the Guardians have decided that Gallagher is no longer in their plans. The veteran backstop should be able to catch on with a new team at some point in a role very similar to what he has filled up to this point in his career.