UPDATE: CBS Sports’ Jon Heyman reports that it’s a one-year deal with an option. Iannetta will receive $4.25 million plus incentives.
6:21 p.m. ET: After it was reported earlier this month that the two sides were nearing a deal, the Mariners just announced that they have signed veteran catcher Chris Iannetta to a one-year contract. No word yet on the terms involved.
Iannetta turns 33 next April and is coming off a rough season with the Angels where he batted just .188/.293/.335 over 92 games. However, he owns a .351 on-base percentage for his career and offers some pop, especially against left-handed pitching. He at least gives the Mariners an experienced alternative to Mike Zunino, who has really struggled in the early part of his career. Mariners general manager Jerry Dipoto previously traded for Iannetta when he was with the Angels and will hope for a rebound in 2016.
Mariners catchers ranked worst in the majors with a .464 OPS this past season. That’s not a misprint. By the way, Giants pitchers had a .463 OPS.
The Mariners designated John Hicks for assignment in order to clear a spot on the 40-man roster for the newly-signed Iannetta.
On Sunday, we learned that while the Nationals would continue to pay their minor leaguers throughout the month of June, their weekly stipend would be lowered by 25 percent, from $400 to $300. In an incredible act of solidarity, Nationals reliever Sean Doolittle and his teammates put out a statement, saying they would be covering the missing $100 from the stipends.
After receiving some criticism, the Nationals reversed course, agreeing to pay their minor leaguers their full $400 weekly stipend.
Doolittle and co. have not withdrawn their generosity. On Wednesday, Doolittle released another statement, saying that he and his major league teammates would continue to offer financial assistance to Nationals minor leaguers through the non-profit organization More Than Baseball.
The full statement:
Washington Nationals players were excited to learn that our minor leaguers will continue receiving their full stipends. We are grateful that efforts have been made to restore their pay during these challenging times.
We remain committed to supporting them. Nationals players are partnering with More Than Baseball to contribute funds that will offer further assistance and financial support to any minor leaguers who were in the Nationals organization as of March 1.
We’ll continue to stand with them as we look forward to resuming our 2020 MLB season.
Kudos to Doolittle and the other Nationals continuing to offer a helping hand in a trying time. The players shouldn’t have to subsidize their employers’ labor expenses, but that is the world we live in today.