The Reds should investigate re-signing this free agent during the offseason

Cincinnati Reds catcher Austin Romine
Cincinnati Reds catcher Austin Romine / Dylan Buell/GettyImages

Austin Romine was an in-season pickup for the Cincinnati Reds and the veteran backstop has played quite well since joining the team in early-August.

While hitting isn't necessarily Romine's specialty, the 33-year-old has smacked three round trippers in just 62 at-bats and posted a .371 slugging percentage. For his career, Romine has maintained a .627 OPS while playing for the New York Yankees and four other organizations throughout his 11-year career.

Romine has also appeared to click with rookie pitcher Nick Lodolo. In Lodolo's last three games, all of which have been caught by Romine, the southpaw has a 2.21 ERA and 31 strikeouts while only walking one batter. It may just be coincidence, but those numbers are hard to ignore. Should the Reds entertain the idea of re-signing Romine in the offseason?

The Reds should investigate re-signing Austin Romine this offseason.

Let's face it, when it comes to catching depth, there'e Tyler Stephenson and then everyone else. Stephenson will be the Cincinnati Reds starting catcher next season, but beyond that, the cupboard is pretty bare.

Chuckie Robinson, Mark Kolozsvary, Michael Papierski, and Aramis Garcia are all part of the Reds 40-man roster, but it's quite likely that all four may be non-tendered shortly after the World Series ends next month. Cincinnati may also look to add catching prospect Daniel Vellojin to the 40-man roster, but the 22-year-old has a long way to go before he makes his way to the big leagues.

If the Cincinnati Reds are looking for a suitable backup for Tyler Stephenson in 2023, few options will actually be better than Austin Romine. While some Reds fans would like to see the team sign free agent to-be Tucker Barnhart, the two-time Gold Glove Award-winner has struggled this season, both at the plate and behind it as well.

According to FanGraphs, while his pitch framing is bit below-average, Romine has 2 defensive runs saved this season. When looking at a backup catcher, having a veteran who handles the pitching staff well while also playing solid defense is about all most teams are looking for. Anything Romine provides in the hitting department is a bonus. The Reds should consider re-signing Romine this winter.

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