Seattle is “very close” to signing catcher John Buck to a one-year contract, according to Jon Morosi of FOXSports.com.
Buck has been a starter for most of the past decade, but he’d serve as a veteran backup to Mike Zunino with the Mariners.
Buck has always had good power for a catcher and smacked 15 homers in 110 games for the Mets and Pirates last season, but he also hit just .219 with a ghastly .285 on-base percentage and .648 OPS. He hasn’t cracked a .700 OPS since 2009, so transitioning to a part-time role at age 33 makes sense.
Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic reports that the Mariners have signed pitcher Juan Nicasio to a two-year contract, pending a physical.
Nicasio, 31, spent last season with the Pirates, Phillies, and Cardinals, putting up an aggregate 2.61 ERA with a 72/20 K/BB ratio in 72 1/3 innings. He appeared in 76 games, leading the National League.
Nicasio will help bolster the Mariners’ bullpen behind closer Edwin Diaz. It’s not known exactly what role he’ll have but it seems reasonable to assume he’ll handle mostly the seventh inning while Nick Vincent will set up for Diaz. Nicasio does have plenty of starting experience so he could also spot start in a pinch.