The Cardinals announced that catcher Austin Romine has been signed to a minor league contract, and assigned to Triple-A Memphis. Romine opted out of his previous minors deal with the Angels earlier this month.
With Yadier Molina sidelined due to knee soreness, the Cardinals were in need of some veteran catching depth, given the inexperience of both Andrew Knizner and Ivan Herrera. Romine will essentially take the place of Ali Sanchez, who had been playing for Triple-A Memphis, but the Cards designated him for assignment two days ago.
After signing with the Angels in March, Romine appeared in three MLB games with the team, briefly filling in when both Max Stassi and Kurt Suzuki were on the COVID list. Romine was optioned back to Triple-A, and then had the right to exercise an opt-out clause in his contract on June 1 if the Angels hadn’t recalled him back to the majors.
A veteran of 11 MLB seasons, Romine has mostly worked in part-time or backup roles, appearing in 436 games and hitting .238/.276/.357 over 1322 career plate appearances. The 33-year-old might not be long for the Cardinals organization depending on how quickly Molina is able to return to action, but since Molina might not be back before the All-Star break, Romine will get an opportunity to work at Triple-A and perhaps get another shot on the active roster.