The Cincinnati Reds have signed P.J. Higgins for the 2024 season. Higgins plays both catcher and first base. His contract is a minor league deal and it includes an invite to big league spring training.
P.J. Higgins is 30-years-old and has spent parts of two seasons with the Chicago Cubs in the big leagues. In 2021 he made his Major League debut, playing in nine games with Chicago. In 2022 he saw a lot more playing time, getting into 74 games for the Cubs and hitting .229/.310/.383 with 11 doubles, a triple, and 6 home runs in his 229 plate appearances. During that season he split time evenly between first base and catcher (he played eight more innings at first than he did as a catcher), but also played in parts of four games at third base.
In 2023 he signed with the Arizona Diamondbacks. He spent the first half of the 2023 season with them in Triple-A Reno. In 58 games for the Aces he hit .317/.407/.473 with 15 doubles, a triple, and 6 home runs while walking 33 times to go along with 49 strikeouts. On July 15th the Chicago Cubs bought his contract from Arizona. For the remainder of the season he spent his time with their Triple-A club in Iowa. In 32 games in the International League after his acquisition he hit .285/.333/.480 with 9 more doubles and 5 more home runs to go along with 9 walks and 35 strikeouts. In total he hit .306/.382/.476 last season in Triple-A.
Cincinnati lost both of the catchers that they had in Triple-A in 2023 to minor league free agency. Needing to replace the duo that hit very well (Chuckie Robinson hit .290/.356/.450 and Jhonny Pereda hit .325/.405/.468 in a combined 677 plate appearances for the Bats), P.J. Higgins looks like he can step into that role. And with big league experience, he can also be expected to be a 3rd catching option if and when the big league club would need him to step in.