Minor League Deal Tracker: Catchers Hernandez, Brantly Signed; Veteran P Kuhl to ChiSox

Rob Brantly, shown here with the New York Yankees, is one of several notable players to sign minor league contracts this week. (Photo by Sarah Stier/Getty Images)

By Matthew Tallarini
World Baseball Network

C Ronaldo Hernández Signed Minor League Deal With Arizona Diamondbacks Jan. 2 – Hernandez, 26, was born in Arjona, Colombia, and has played eight seasons in the minor leagues since he was signed as an international free agent to a minor league contract by the Tampa Bay Rays on Aug. 9, 2014.

Last season with Triple-A Worcester in the Boston Red Sox organization, Hernandez played in 99 games, batting .242 with 81 hits, 17 doubles, 17 home runs, 41 walks, 69 strikeouts, and a .781 OPS before electing free agency on Nov. 6, 2023. 

Hernandez played in the 2023-24 winter league season for the Gigantes del Cibao in LIDOM, appearing in 18 games and batting .232 with 13 hits, two doubles, three RBI, seven walks, and 10 strikeouts prior to his signing with the Diamondbacks.

Catcher Rob Brantly Signed Minor League Pact With Tampa Bay Rays – Brantly, 34, was born in San Diego, Calif., and has played eight seasons in Major League Baseball with the Miami Marlins from 2012-13, the Chicago White Sox in 2015 and 2017, the Philadelphia Phillies in 2019, the San Francisco Giants in 2020 and the New York Yankees from 2021-22. 

Last season, the left-hand hitting catcher played with Triple-A Buffalo in the Toronto Blue Jays organization, and in 46 games, batted .271 with 39 hits, 10 doubles, one home run, 16 RBI, 18 walks, 21 strikeouts, and a .751 OPS before he was released on July 13, 2023. 

In his eight seasons in MLB, Brantly has played in 135 games with a lifetime average of .225, 93 hits in 456 plate appearances, 21 doubles, seven home runs, 37 RBI, 33 walks, 96 strikeouts and a .613 OPS. 

Right-Handed Pitcher Chad Kuhl Signed With Chicago White Sox On December 29 To Minor League Contract 

Kuhl, 31, was born in Newark, Del., and has played seven seasons in MLB with the Pittsburgh Pirates from 2016-18 and from 2020-21, the Colorado Rockies in 2022, and the Washington Nationals in 2023. 

Last season, Kuhl went 0-4 with a 8.45 ERA, throwing 38.1 innings in 16 appearances and five starts, recording one save, allowing 47 hits, 36 earned runs, eight home runs, 28 walks, 31 strikeouts, and a 1.957 WHIP. 

During his seven seasons in MLB, Kuhl has a 31-45 record, throwing 615 innings in 143 appearances and 116 starts, posting a 4.98 ERA with one complete game, one shutout and allowing 631 hits, 340 earned runs, 92 home runs, 281 walks, 536 strikeouts, and a 1.483 WHIP. 

OF Jonathan Davis Signed Minor League Contract With Miami Marlins – Davis, 31, was born in Camden, Ark., and has played six seasons in MLB with the Toronto Blue Jays from 2018-21, the New York Yankees in 2021, the Milwaukee Brewers in 2022, and the Miami Marlins in 2023. 

Davis elected free agency on Nov. 3, 2023 prior to re-signing with the Marlins. 

Last season, Davis played with the Marlins and in the Detroit Tigers organization at Triple-A Toledo.

Davis started the 2023 season with Triple-A Toledo and played in 36 games with 141 plate appearances, batting .258 and smacking 32 hits, nine doubles, four triples, five home runs, 20 RBI, five stolen bases, 14 walks, and 32 strikeouts before being traded to the Marlins on May 22, 2023. The deal sent outfielder Brady Allen to the Motor City. 

Davis played in 34 games with the Marlins and batted .244 over 104 plate appearances with 22 hits, four doubles, one triple, two home runs, 10 RBI, seven walks, and 29 strikeouts. He was transferred from the 10-day injured list to the 60-day injured list with a right-knee sprain on July 10 and was out for the remainder of the season. 

In his six seasons in MLB, Davis has played in 205 games with 453 plate appearances batting .199 with 77 hits, 10 doubles, one triple, six home runs, 30 RBI, 19 stolen bases, 42 walks, 122 strikeouts, and a .570 OPS. 

Infielder Kevin Smith Gets Minor League Contract With New York Yankees – Smith, 27, was born in East Greenbush, N.Y., and has played three seasons in MLB with the Toronto Blue Jays in 2021 and the Oakland Athletics from 2022-23. 

Last season, Smith split time between the Athletics and Triple-A Las Vegas. Smith played in 49 games with the Athletics, and in 146 plate appearances, he batted .185 with 25 hits, four doubles, five home runs, 11 RBI, five walks, 51 strikeouts, and a .546 OPS. 

With Triple-A Las Vegas, Smith appeared in 42 games, batting .324 in 183 plate appearances and smacking 55 hits, eight doubles, 16 home runs, 46 RBI, nine stolen bases, 13 walks, 49 strikeouts and a 1.025 OPS. 

In three seasons in MLB, Smith has a lifetime average of .173 in 114 games and 333 plate appearances, with 53 hits, 13 doubles, one triple, eight home runs, 25 RBI, 15 walks, 104 strikeouts and a .516 OPS.

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