The Seattle Mariners are close to a deal with free agent catcher John Buck according to Jon Morosi of FOX Sports. With highly regarded Mike Zunino as the primary catcher, Buck will likely be his back-up,
Buck, 33, batted a combined .219 with 15 homers and 62 RBI between the Mets and the Pirates last season. He had a .285 OBP and .362 slugging percentage.
There had been some interest in bringing him back to mentor Travis d’Arnaud, but the Mets never had any serious negotiations with him.
Sandy Alderson had wanted a veteran backup when the offseason kicked off, but has since backed off on it.
“First of all, we like Anthony Recker as a backup,” Alderson said. “So if we were to get a more veteran guy, it would be in part out of concern that somebody is going to have to play every day if d’Arnaud gets hurt. Part of it might be a desire to have a little bit of mentorship for both d’Arnaud and Recker.”
“The nice thing is we have a guy like [coach] Bob Geren on our staff, who had been very good at that himself. So the backup veteran backup catcher is not really a high priority for us. I mean, it’s nice to have. We’ve got some other need-to-have holes to fill.”
“Ultimately if we have to go with Recker and d’Arnaud, we’re happy with that,” Alderson said. “It would be nice to have somebody else available to us, but it’s not a high priority.”
I’ll always remember Buck for that punch-pie to the face of Jordany Valdespin, nearly knocking the guy out. And also for that red-hot April that made him look like he had a great season for the Mets. He really didn’t. Buck posted an .844 OPS with 9 home runs and 25 RBIs that month, but pretty much sucked offensively the rest of the season. Farewell, Buck Shot…