Looking for major league opportunties elsewhere, veteran catcher Eric Haase has elected to become a free agent. Haase returned to Cleveland earlier this year before being designated for assignment and subsequently sent down to Triple-A Columbus.
The Guardians previously parted ways with Haase following the 2020 season, trading him to his hometown Detroit Tigers. Haase was able to somewhat find his footing in Detroit, hitting 36 home runs and 29 doubles while slashing .242/.295/.451 in his first two seasons. Unfortunately that success did not carry over into a third season, hitting just eight doubles and four home runs in 86 games before being designated for assignment by Detroit.
Cleveland would claim Haase on waivers, giving him a brief three-game stint prior to their mass waiver claim transaction that saw Lucas Giolito, Reynaldo Lopez, and Matt Moore come to Cleveland. Haase would go on to appear in 30 games for the Columbus Clippers, registering four hits in 26 at-bats including one home run.
Haase has shown he has been able to be a moderately productive bat in Detroit, being league average in 2021 (100) and slightly above it in 2022 (110) in the weighted runs created plus department. It did crater in 2023 between Detroit and Cleveland, falling to just 42 in 89 games.
The (brief) track record, combined with his ability to play multiple positions, should lead to Haase being able to land somewhere at some point this offseason. Besides catcher, Haase has also seen action on the field in left field (56 games), right field (1 game), and first base (1 game). It is more than likely that Haase would primarily be used as a team's backstop, but having the ability to make an appearance in the outfield if needed is a bonus that could be attractive to a prospective team.