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Phils sign catcher Fasano

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A member in good standing of what Christina Kahrl sometimes calls the International Brotherhood of Backup Catchers, Sal Fasano inked a one-year, $425,000 deal with the Phillies today.

Catcher Sal Fasano has agreed to a contract with the Phillies, Assistant General Manager Ruben Amaro, Jr. announced this afternoon.

He signed a one-year deal for $425,000 plus performance bonuses.

"Fasano has always been a quality receiver with a lot of energy," said Amaro. "He will be a good complement to Mike Lieberthal. He's a winning player which is the kind of character we are trying to bring to our big club."

Fasano, a free agent, played the majority of the 2005 season with the Baltimore Orioles after beginning the season at triple-A Ottawa. A career back-up catcher, he appeared in more major league games with the Orioles last year (64) than he had in any season since a career-best 74 in 1998. He also hit a career-best 11 home runs last year in just 160 at-bats.

The "character" stuff does as little for me as ever, but the power numbers are pretty appealing. For his career, Fasano is averaging about a homer every 20 at-bats, so it's not like his 2005 power was an obvious fluke.

I was a Todd Pratt fan, but I can see the logic of this move, particularly given that Pratt is a few years older and likely will earn twice as much. What this means for prospect Carlos Ruiz, currently performing well in winter ball, is less clear.

Update [2005-12-4 1:23:19 by dajafi]: Beerleaguer offers a strong view on just what the Fasano signing means for Ruiz, and sees good things ahead for the farmhand catcher nicknamed "Chooch." Well worth a look.