Mariners sign catcher Ronny Paulino to a minor league contract

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According to CBS Sports’ Jon Heyman, the Mariners have signed catcher Ronny Paulino to a minor league contract. This confirms a report by Alexander Azuaje from earlier this week.

Paulino, who turns 32 in April, batted .254 (16-for-63) with three doubles, five RBI and a .567 OPS in 20 games with the Orioles last season. He has a .700 OPS over eight seasons in the majors, including an .844 OPS against southpaws.

The Mariners traded John Jaso to the Athletics last week in the three-team Michael Morse deal, so Jesus Montero currently projects to get the majority of the playing time behind the plate. Paulino could serve as the backup, though the Mariners will likely continue to look for depth in the days ahead.

Javier Baez, D.J. LeMahieu have disagreement about sign-stealing

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Fellow second basemen Javier Baez of the Cubs and D.J. LeMahieu of the Rockies got into a disagreement in the top of the third inning of Sunday’s game at Coors Field over sign-stealing.

LeMahieu reached on a fielder’s choice ground out, then advanced to second base on Charlie Blackmon‘s single. While Nolan Arenado and Trevor Story were batting, Baez was concerned that LeMahieu was relaying the Cubs’ signs to his teammates. Baez decided to stand in front of LeMahieu to block any information he might have been giving to Arenado and Story. LeMahieu got irritated and the two jawed at each other for a bit. Umpires Vic Carapazza and Greg Gibson had to intervene to tell Baez to knock it off.

There has always been a back-and-forth with alleged sign-stealing. As long as teams aren’t using technology to steal signs, it’s fair game for players to relay information to their teammates about the opposing team’s signs. Last year, MLB determined the Red Sox went against the rules and used technology — an Apple watch in this case — to steal signs from the Yankees. Other teams in the past have been accused of using binoculars from the bullpen to steal signs. In this particular case with Baez and LeMahieu, there was no foul play going on, just Baez trying to make the Rockies cede what he perceived to be their slight competitive advantage.

The Cubs went on to beat the Rockies 9-7 on Sunday.