Catcher Austin Hedges signs contract with Guardians

The Guardians’ charismatic catcher, Austin Hedges, has sealed the deal for a return to Cleveland for the 2024 season. The contract, valued at $4 million for one year, is a sign of the club’s confidence in Hedges’ leadership and defensive skills despite his modest offensive stats.

Hedges, known for his energetic personality and lively presence in the clubhouse, played a crucial role in the Guardians’ 2022 postseason run. His ability to mentor young players and provide a solid defensive example makes him a valuable addition to the team. With the departure of Christian Bethancourt to the Marlins, Hedges’ return solidifies his role as a key figure behind the dish for the Guardians.

While his offensive numbers may not stand out, Hedges excels in defensive aspects of the game. His exceptional pitch-framing and blocking abilities make him a standout performer in this area. The Guardians are counting on him to set a high standard for the team’s young catching prospect, Bo Naylor, who is expected to take on more responsibility in the upcoming season.

The team’s decision to invest in Hedges reflects their commitment to nurturing and developing young talent. With an emphasis on providing guidance and support to their youthful roster, the Guardians are banking on Hedges to play a significant role in mentoring the team’s emerging stars.

Despite earlier financial constraints that led to the departure of players like Cal Quantrill, the Guardians managed to secure Hedges’ return. The trade of Bethancourt for cash considerations helped free up resources to accommodate Hedges’ contract, signaling the team’s determination to prioritize leadership and mentorship within their roster.

Hedges’ return to Cleveland marks a significant move for the Guardians as they continue to build a team that prioritizes leadership and development. With an eye toward the future, the Guardians are banking on Hedges to play a pivotal role in shaping the next generation of talent within the organization.


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