Phillies close to re-signing backup catcher Brian Schneider


Philadelphia was apparently satisfied with Brian Schneider backing up Carlos Ruiz for the past two seasons, because Jon Paul Morosi of reports that the Phillies are close to re-signing the 34-year-old catcher.

Schneider signed a two-year, $2.75 million deal with the Phillies as a free agent in December of 2009, but he’s coming off a career-worst season in which he hit just .176 while throwing out only 13 percent of steal attempts in 41 games playing behind Ruiz.

Ruiz has played at least 100 games and caught at least 800 innings in each of his five full seasons, so the Phillies are willing to settle on Schneider rather than looking for a younger catcher with more upside.

Mariners claim Dario Alvarez off waivers from Cubs

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Ryan Divish of the Seattle Times reports that the Mariners have claimed pitcher Dario Alvarez off waivers from the Cubs. The Mariners will option him to Triple-A Tacoma and have him report to minor league camp. Alvarez will serve as bullpen depth for the Mariners.

Alvarez, 29, has  spent parts of four seasons in the majors with the Mets, Braves, and Rangers. He signed with the Cubs as a free agent in November. Across 48 innings of relief, the lefty owns a 5.06 ERA with 61 strikeouts and 22 walks. His spring with the Cubs wasn’t any better, as he yielded six runs on seven hits and six walks with 11 strikeouts in 7 1/3 innings.