Milwaukee Brewers Sign Eric Haase

Eric Haase 12.21.23
(Photo by Justin K. Aller/Getty Images)

The Milwaukee Brewers have signed Eric Haase to a one-year deal and lock down there back-up catcher for the 2024 season. Haase replaces Victor Caratini who signed a two-year, 12 million dollar deal with the Houston Astros earlier this month. Haase is a 31-year old catcher who has played 323 games in six seasons at the major league level. Most of those games were split between the last three seasons where he played for the Detroit Tigers and the Cleveland Guardians.

Eric had a medial at best 2023, hitting .201 in 293 at-bats between the Tigers and Guardians. He had eight doubles, four home runs, and 26 RBI. This lack of production saw him move around quite a bit last season. He was claimed off of waivers on August 21 by the Guardians and was subsequently designated for assignment in early September. Haase would end the season in Triple-A Columbus where he elected to choose free agency at the end of the season.

Haase brings a big stick to the Brewers with mid-20’s home run potential. In his rookie season in 2021, he hit 22 home runs and had 61 RBI. He slugged over .440 with over 100 OPS+ in both 2021 and 2022. The Brewers hope they can maximize that potential while providing William Contreras much needed rest at the most physically demanding position in baseball.

2023 Milwaukee Catcher Rankings

The Brewers’ catching crew led the majors last year in average (.281), OBP (.356), wOBA (.345), wRC+ (116), and WAR (6.5). Contreras and Caratini combined for 24 home runs which ranked 14th overall by team. They also had two of the best defensive catchers in baseball with Contreras ranking in the 90th percentile in both Blocks Above Average and Pitch Framing. Caratini also ranked in the 90th percentile in Pitch Framing.

While Haase is an upgrade in the only possible weak spot in the catching room last season which was home run power, he severely lacks in quality behind the plate. Haase ranks in the bottom 20 percentile in both Blocks Above Average and pop time. While ranking in the bottom 30th percentile in Pitch Framing and bottom 50th percentile in Caught Stealing Above Average. The Brewers hope that whatever short comings Haase has defensively, he can make up with home runs on the offensive side of the game.

Catching Future in Milwaukee

Haase will need to perform this season to maintain his spot in the major leagues. The Brewers number two overall prospect is Jeferson Quero. A 21-year old catcher who they signed out of Venezuela who looks to be the long term solution at the position for the organization. Quero played his 2023 season in Double-A, where he played 90 games and amassed 336 AB’s. He slashed .262/.339/.440 with 12 doubles, 16 home runs, and 49 RBI.

 

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