Josh Phegley, A's agree to one-year, $1.075M contract, avoid arbitration


The A's agreed to terms with backup catcher Josh Phegley to a one-year contract, the team announced Thursday, and NBC Sports California has learned the deal is worth $1.075 million.

Phegley, 30, would have been eligible for arbitration, where he was projected to receive $1.2 million, according to MLB Trade Rumors.

In 39 games last season, Phegley slashed .204/.255/.344 with two home runs, seven doubles and 15 RBI. The A's went 20-7 in his 27 starts.

Phegley spent his first two major league seasons with the White Sox before being traded to Oakland in 2014. In six big league seasons, he has slashed .223/.264/.372.

Signing Phegley helps stabilize the catcher position for the A's, who don't currently have another backstop on their 40-man roster. Oakland still likely will try to re-sign last year's starter, Jonathan Lucroy, who is an unrestricted free agent.

Lucroy slashed .241/.291/.325 with four home runs and 51 RBI in 126 games last season while being paid $6.5 million. He led MLB with 31 runners caught stealing.

[RELATED: A's potential threats to re-signing Lucroy]

If the A's cannot re-sign Lucroy, expect them to pursue another free agent catcher for the starting job. Phegley has proven to be a reliable backup, and he could see more action next season, but he doesn't figure to be the Opening Day starter.

Whoever the A's sign as their starting catcher most likely will only receive a one-year deal. Oakland is very high on 24-year-old prospect Sean Murphy, who should be ready to make his major league debut by 2020.

But for now, Phegley at least gives the A's a reliable big league catcher on the roster.

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