LOS ANGELES — The Dodgers have signed veteran catcher Bobby Wilson to a minor league contract with a non-roster invitation to spring training.
Wilson can earn a $1 million salary if he makes the majors, per Jon Heyman of FanRag Sports.
Wilson hit .237/.270/.355 in 2016 for three different teams, the Rangers, Rays, and Tigers, while playing a career-high 75 games and 251 plate appearances. He hit seven home runs and drove in 33.
The right-handed-hitting Wilson hit .286/.310/.429 against left-handed pitching in 2016, and had hit .229/.292/.388 against southpaws in his career, compared to .207/.258/.289 against right-handers.
The eight-year major league veteran turns 34 in April.
Wilson rated roughly average in catcher framing in 2016, 0.6 runs above average per Baseball Prospectus. But that was down from 6.2 runs above average in 2015, and he was the top pitch framer in Triple-A in 2014 at 16 runs above average.
Wilson threw out eight of 48 (16.7%) would-be base stealers in 2016.
The Dodgers remain high on Austin Barnes, who does have an option year remaining, but has a clear path to the backup catcher role in 2017. Wilson gives the club potential depth at the position, and Barnes’ versatility — he can play second and third base as well — could make it more palatable if the Dodgers ever decide to carry three catchers on the active roster.
In addition to Wilson, a non-roster invitee to Camelback Ranch will be infielder Charlie Culberson, who was sent outright to Triple-A Oklahoma City on Dec. 9, removing him from the 40-man roster.
The 27-year-old infielder — Culberson turns 28 in April -- was a non-roster invitee to spring training last year as well, and made the Dodgers’ opening day roster. He hit .299/.309/.388 in 34 games for the Dodgers in 2016, and hit the game-winning home run that clinched the National League West on Sept. 25.
Culberson also hit .260/.310/.385 in 70 games with Oklahoma City in 2016, starting 56 games at shortstop, five games at third base and four at second base.
Pitchers and catchers report to Dodgers camp at Camelback Ranch in Glendale, Ariz. on Feb. 15, with position players due to report five days later. The first scheduled full squad workout is on Tuesday, Feb. 21.
The Dodgers open Cactus League play on Saturday, Feb. 25 against the White Sox at Camelback Ranch.