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January 14, 2014 at 1:12 AM

Report: Mariners close to signing free agent catcher John Buck

morosi1

So Jon Morosi had this tweet tonight.

The premise of this tweet doesn’t seem like a stretch. The Mariners catching depth chart basically goes like this: Mike Zunino, Humberto Quintero or Jesus Sucre, Brandon Bantz, John Hicks and then who knows after that.

Signing John Buck as a back-up makes sense. He played in 110 games with the Mets and nine with the Pirates last season. He hit a combined .219 with 15 homers and 62 RBI. He had a .285 OBP and .362 slugging percentage. After a big year in 2010 with the Blue Jays, he’s now become serviceable back-up type with a some pop. Jeff Sullivan compared him to Miguel Olivo. And it’s close offensively. He’s better defensively than Olivo, though that’s not really a difficult accomplishment. But Buck is solid. He’d be a good guy to have around.

You can look at this as good insurance in case Zunino really struggles in his first full year behind the plate. People might think it’s odd that he’s considering a back-up role after starting 102 games last season. But at 33, this may be one of his few opportunities.

A conspiracy theorist might think that the Mariners might be signing Buck as a precursor for possibly dealing Zunino in a package deal for a pitcher like David Price. I’m not a conspiracy theorist.

Some statistical comparisons …

From 2012 …

table

From 2013 …

table2

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