As first suggested by FOX Sports’ Jon Morosi and now confirmed by Jon Heyman of CBS Sports, the Mariners have reached agreement on a one-year, $1 million major league contract with free agent catcher John Buck. The deal is only pending a physical and should be finalized at some point later this week.
Buck struggled to attract a healthy market this winter after batting .219 with a .285 on-base percentage in 431 plate appearances last season between the Mets and Pirates, but the 33-year-old has some power and won’t be asked to handle much of a load in Seattle behind starting catcher Mike Zunino.
Buck has averaged 22 home runs per 162 games since the beginning of the 2010 season.
The right-handed hitter has a .727 career OPS against left-handed pitching.
Astros DH Evan Gattis unwittingly helped the Mariners complete a triple play in the fourth inning of Thursday afternoon’s game at Safeco Field. The Astros put runners on first and second on consecutive singles by Jose Altuve and Carlos Correa, bringing Gattis to the plate.
Gattis check-swung at a first-pitch curve from Marco Gonzales, hitting a grounder to third base. Kyle Seager stepped on the third base bag and then threw to second base for the second out. There was not nearly enough time for Robinson Cano to get the throw to first base to complete a triple play. Gattis ostensibly lost track of the number of outs in the inning, so he just circled back to the dugout and the Mariners completed their triple play since Gattis went out of the baseline.
That’s the first triple play of the 2018 season. It’s the Mariners’ first triple play since July 26, 2015 against the Blue Jays.