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.
The Yankees defeated the Astros 4-1 during Game 5 of the American League Championship Series on Friday night, staving off a potential postseason elimination and forcing the series to at least six games.
In just the third playoff appearance of his career, Yankees southpaw James Paxton turned in another impressive performance, limiting the Astros to four hits and four walks over six innings of one-run ball. According to MLB Stats, his nine strikeouts made him the second Yankees lefty to record multiple starts of 8+ strikeouts in the same postseason campaign, two decades after David Wells did so for the 1998 championship-winning club.
Paxton’s strong outing was backed by a handful of runs from DJ LeMahieu and Aaron Hicks, both of whom went deep against Astros ace Justin Verlander in the bottom of the first inning. LeMahieu’s leadoff solo shot marked his first postseason home run since Game 1 of the ALDS, while Hicks’ three-run 347-footer was his first home run of any variety since July 24 (and his first in the playoffs since the 2017 ALDS).
Neither team managed a single run after the first inning, leaving the two pitching staffs to duke it out for eight quick innings. Verlander outlasted Paxton — taking the game through the seventh with five hits, four runs, and nine strikeouts — but even with a flawless contribution from Brad Peacock in the eighth, there was little the hurlers could do to help the Astros solve Paxton and an airtight Yankees bullpen.
With the win, the Yankees will try to push the series to a full seven games in order to snatch the AL pennant from the Astros. They’ll have to do in Houston, however, as the Astros will regain home field advantage when Game 6 kicks off on Saturday at 8:08 PM EDT. Neither starter has been announced yet; per Houston skipper A.J. Hinch, it will likely be a bullpen day.