Mariners agree to one-year, $1.5M deal with Kelly Shoppach


From beat writer Greg Johns comes word that the Mariners have reached agreement on a major league contract with catcher Kelly Shoppach. The deal is pending a physical, which is scheduled to take place on Wednesday morning in Seattle.

Shoppach, a 32-year-old native of Fort Worth, Texas, batted .233/.309/.425 with eight homers, 14 doubles and 27 RBI over 245 plate appearances last season between the Red Sox and Mets. He will serve as an active backup in Seattle behind Jesus Montero, who is expected to continue getting regular starts at designated hitter in 2013.

There’s no word yet on the exact financial terms of Shoppach’s major league pact.


UPDATE, 7:15 PM: The one-year deal carries a $1.5 million base salary and another $500,000 worth of performance-based incentives, according to’s Jerry Crasnick.

Mike Trout has yet to strike out this spring

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Everyone is well aware of how good Angels outfielder Mike Trout is at the game of baseball. The 26-year-old is already an all-time great, having won two MVP awards — and arguably deserving of two others — and the 2012 Rookie of the Year Award. He has accrued 54.2 WAR, per Baseball Reference, which is right around the threshold for a Hall of Fame career. Trout does it all: he draws walks, he hits for average, he hits for power, he steals bases, he plays good defense.

But here’s an achievement that is amazing even for a player like Trout: he has yet to strike out this spring. In 41 Cactus League plate appearances, he has 10 hits (including a triple and two homers) and six walks with zero strikeouts. Across his career, Trout has a 21.5 percent strikeout rate, right around the league average. He isn’t usually such a stickler for avoiding the punch-out, but this spring he is.

To put this in perspective, 134 players this spring have struck out at least 10 times, according to 938 players have struck out at least once. The only other players to have taken at least 10 at-bats without striking out this spring are Humberto Arteaga (Royals, 23 AB), Tony Cruz (Reds, 18 AB), Oscar Hernandez (Red Sox, 10 AB), and Jacob Stallings (Pirates, 18 AB).

According to Angels assistant hitting coach Paul Sorrento, the lack of strikeouts hasn’t been a conscious effort from Trout, Jeff Fletcher of the Orange County Register reports. Ho hum. The best player in baseball is apparently getting even better.