Phils sign Holaday to Minors contract

Catcher will have chance to compete for backup spot as non-roster invitee at Spring Training

Phils sign Holaday to Minors contract

PHILADELPHIA -- Bryan Holaday will be in the mix to be Cameron Rupp's backup in 2017.

The Phillies announced Tuesday afternoon they had signed Holaday to a Minor League contract. He will be in Spring Training as a non-roster invitee. Holaday, 29, has a .628 OPS in a five-year career with the Tigers, Rangers and Red Sox.

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Holaday, who had been non-tendered by the Red Sox, figures to compete with Andrew Knapp to be the team's No. 2 catcher. Jorge Alfaro is likely to open the season with Triple-A Lehigh Valley, despite the fact he appeared in six games with the Phillies in September. Alfaro is the No. 59 prospect in baseball, according to MLBPipeline.com, but he needs more time to develop.

Knapp has never played in the big leagues, while Holaday has 152 games under his belt. But Phillies general manager Matt Klentak said earlier this month that the Phillies did not need to have a veteran backup catcher.

"When we met at the Winter Meetings, we talked about whether we would look to add a veteran with a Major League contract or whether we're going to earmark that position for one of our young kids," Klentak said in a conference call Tuesday. "I think the prudent course here is not necessarily make that decision in December. Let's allow our young kids to compete for that second catcher job. Let's bring in a proven veteran or two to compete on a non-roster-invitee basis, and we'll see how it all plays out in March."

Todd Zolecki has covered the Phillies since 2003, and for MLB.com since 2009. Follow him on Twitter and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.