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Blue Jays have signed catcher Payton Henry to a minor league contract

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Photo credit:USA Today - Rick Scuteri
Brennan Delaney
2 months ago
It’s not the transaction we wanted, but it’s a transaction nonetheless.
On Saturday evening, Jays Jorunal’s Eric Treuden reported that the Blue Jays were signing catcher Payton Henry to a minor league deal.
The 26-year-old catcher was drafted in the sixth-round of the 2016 draft and eventually returned to the organization in 2023. With their Triple-A team, Henry slashed .294/.341/.454 with nine home runs in 255 plate appearances. He also had a 4.7 BB% and a 23.1 K%.
Henry played two major league seasons with Miami in 2021 and 2022, where he had 51 plate appearances and slashed .186/.314/.209 with one extra base hit and an 11.8 BB% and 25.5 K%.
According to a 2020 scouting report from MLB Pipeline, the right-handed batting catcher has some raw power that allows him to drive the ball to the opposite field. Only one of the 14 home runs (a career-high) he hit in 2019 were to his pull side though, which explains the near .300 batting average with Milwaukee’s Triple-A team.
Henry’s a good defensive catcher with a strong arm and a quick release. His receiving and blocking is also above average, and his 2020 scouting report notes that he could be a defense oriented catcher that can hit for power.
Although that may not have transpired so far, there is a pathway to the big leagues for Henry. Recently, the Blue Jays designated Tyler Heinemann for assignment, who was picked up by the New York Mets. 
As it stands, the Jays only have two catchers (Alejandro Kirk and Danny Jansen) on the roster, as well as Daulton Varsho as the emergency catcher. If one of these two catchers get injured, Henry is likely the first one to be called up.
Henry’s signing reminds me a bit of when the Jays signed Jamie Ritchie before the start of the 2023 season. Ritchie slashed .233/.364/.278 with a home runs in 214 plate appearances with Buffalo.
With all that being said, the Blue Jays are signing a catcher with upside, as he was most recently ranked as Fangraphs’ 17th best Miami prospect before graduating in 2022. We’ll see if a new organization with different philosophies will unlock Henry’s full potential!

As always, you can follow me on Twitter, Instagram, and Threads @Brennan_L_D.

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