Mariners close to signing John Buck

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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.

Braves sign veteran right-hander Tomlin to minor league deal

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The Atlanta Braves have signed right-hander Josh Tomlin to a minor league contract with an invitation to the team’s major league camp.

The 34-year-old Tomlin, who was released by Milwaukee on Wednesday, had a 6.14 ERA in 32 games, including nine starts, with Cleveland in 2018. Tomlin was 61-53 with a 4.77 ERA in nine seasons with the Indians.

Tomlin was 2-1 with a 4.80 ERA in five games with the Brewers this spring after joining the team on a minor league deal.

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