Mariners to sign John Buck for more insurance at catcher
Multiple outlets reported that the Mariners had agreed to a one-year contract with John Buck, who spent most of 2013 with the New York Mets.
Seattle Times staff reporter
A week after signing veteran Humberto Quintero to a minor-league contract, the Mariners plan on adding some more experience at catcher to serve as insurance behind Mike Zunino this season.
Multiple outlets reported on Wednesday that the Mariners and veteran John Buck had agreed to terms on a one-year, $1 million contract.
The organization wouldn’t confirm the reports. But sources indicated the signing will be made official once Buck passes a physical. The Mariners would also have to make a 40-man roster move to make room for him.
Buck, 33, played the bulk of last season with the New York Mets. He appeared in 101 games with the Mets, hitting .215 with 15 home runs and 65 runs batted in. Defensively, he threw out 16 of 39 attempted base-stealers.
He was traded along with Marlon Byrd to the Pirates on Aug. 27 and appeared in nine games with Pittsburgh, getting seven hits in 24 at-bats.
A 10-year veteran, Buck’s best season came in 2010 with the Toronto Blue Jays. He hit .281 with 20 homers and 66 RBI while posting an .802 on-base-plus-slugging percentage and being named to the American League All-Star team. That season earned Buck a three-year, $18 million free-agent contract from the Marlins.
• The Mariners avoided salary arbitration with one of their three arbitration-eligible players. The team announced that outfielder Michael Saunders had agreed to terms on a one-year contract. The organization does not divulge contract details, but a source said that Saunders will earn $2.3 million plus incentives next season.
Saunders hit .236 with 23 doubles, 12 homers and 46 RBI while appearing in 132 games last season. He could be the Mariners’ opening-day center fielder.
• The Mariners on Wednesday announced their minor-league coaching staffs and roving instructors for the 2014 season. For the first time since 2006, the Tacoma Rainiers will open a season without Daren Brown as their manager. Instead, Rich Donnelly will take over the Class AAA club. Donnelly and Mariners manager Lloyd McClendon spent time in the Pirates organization when Jim Leyland was manager in the early 1990s. Brown has been reassigned as a roving instructor overseeing baserunning and bunting.