Maldonado, Stassi bring needed stability to White Sox

With a staggering 70 players in major-league camp Monday as the White Sox went through their first full-squad workout of spring training, there is an obvious need for some stability.

The Sox believe they have two steady hands at a key position.

With a glaring need at catcher, general manager Chris Getz addressed the issue in December.

He acquired 32-year-old Max Stassi in a trade with the Braves and signed 37-year-old Martin Maldonado.

“They’re two catchers that have had success in this game,” Getz said. “Veteran-types, they’re known for their receiving, their game-planning, their throwing, their building the rapport with our pitchers.”

Maldonado is likely to emerge as the White Sox's No. 1 catcher. Stassi looks to have the upper hand over light-hitting Korey Lee for the backup job.

“They understand what it takes to be successful at the major-league level,” Getz said of Maldonado and Stassi. “Most importantly, to have them come in together, work together with some of our arms and other teammates, we look forward to seeing their work within our clubhouse.”

Maldonado joins the Sox on a one-year, $4 million contract. The deal includes a $4 million club option for 2025 with a $250,000 buyout.

“Whatever I can do to help those guys to win games, that's what's important to me,” Maldonado said. “I’ll be ready every day. In my 12 years, I never ask for off days. I will be there as much as they need me. I don’t get tired. It’s more mental, how you navigate the lineup with the pitching staff.”

Known for his skills behind the plate, Maldonado played in 116 games for the Astros last season and hit .191/.258/.348 while matching his career high with 15 home runs.

Stassi missed the entire 2023 season with a left hip strain and placement on the Restricted List due to a family medical issue.

In 2022, he played in 102 games with the Angels and slashed .180/.267/.303 with 9 home runs and 30 RBI.

Lee was acquired in a trade with Houston last July and was called up from Class AAA Charlotte in late August.

In 24 games with the White Sox, Lee hit .077/.143/.138 with 1 homer and 3 RBI.

At this time next year, Edgar Quero could be the Sox's No. 1 catcher.

Acquired from the Angels in the Lucas Giolito/Reynaldo Lopez trade last July, the 20-year-old Quero was sent to Class AA Birmingham for the rest of the season. In 31 games, he slashed .277/.366/.393 with 3 home runs and 22 RBI.

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