Seattle has signed Josh Bard to a minor-league contract for the second straight offseason.
Last year he spent most of the first half at Triple-A before joining the Mariners for good in early July and hitting .214 with a .634 OPS in 39 games while backing up Adam Moore.
This time around he’ll compete with Moore for the job backing up Miguel Olivo, who the Mariners signed to a two-year, $7 million contract last month.
Bard has played for five teams in parts of nine seasons in the majors, and new Mariners manager Eric Wedge is familiar with him from their time together in Cleveland from 2003 to 2005.
The Rangers have signed catcher Jeff Mathis to a two-year contract, per Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic. The deal is pending a physical.
Mathis turns 36 years old at the end of March and has a career .564 OPS across 14 seasons, but he is well-regarded for his defense and ability to handle a pitching staff.
The arrival of Mathis could mean the Rangers are moving on from Robinson Chirinos behind the plate, as he is now a free agent. The Rangers could go after another catcher to complement Mathis or just have Isiah Kiner-Falefa back up Mathis. Though Kiner-Falefa mostly played elsewhere, including three spots across the infield, he did rack up over 300 defensive innings behind the plate in 2018.