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Padres sign veteran catcher Gregg Zaun to minor league deal

Jan 18, 2011, 4:16 PM EST

Gregg Zaun AP

San Diego signed Gregg Zaun to a minor-league contract and the veteran catcher will get an invitation to spring training, where he’ll compete for the backup job with Rob Johnson.

Zaun missed most of last season following June shoulder surgery and will be 40 years old in April, but if healthy he’s a far superior option than Johnson to play behind starter Nick Hundley.

Zaun has posted an on-base percentage above .340 in seven straight seasons and the switch-hitter batted .265 with a .350 OBP in 28 games for the Brewers last season before shutting things down.

  1. icanspeel - Jan 18, 2011 at 4:22 PM

    If healthy it’d be a good pickup for the Padres and their young pitchers

  2. proudlycanadian - Jan 18, 2011 at 4:31 PM

    Which shoulder was injured? If it was his throwing shoulder, there might be reason for concern. When he was with the Jay’s, he did not throw out a high percentage of base stealer’s. He did do a fine job calling games and handling pitchers.

  3. Ick McWang - Jan 18, 2011 at 6:01 PM

    we loved the guy here in tampa when he came here at the end of 09 for the playoff stretch. good for him

  4. andrewkw - Jan 18, 2011 at 8:52 PM

    Hopefully he makes the team, even with the injury I don’t think he should have to settle for a minor league deal.

    Yes he can’t throw, but so what? That’s one asset of his game. He fields his position well otherwise, calls a good game, blocks balls in the dirt and does an excellent job blocking the plate.

    His on base skills are probably the best of any backup catcher, a switch hitter with modest power. I’d certainly prefer him to the generic sub .300 obp low power backups who have reputations as good fielders.

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