Tacoma Rainiers broadcaster Mike Curto reports that the Mariners have inked free agent catcher Chris Herrmann to a minor league deal. The signing has yet to be officially confirmed by the club.
Herrmann, 30, completed a two-year run with the Diamondbacks in 2017. Despite racking up a career-best 10 home runs in the majors, the veteran catcher/outfielder finished the year with a disappointing .181/.273/.345 batting line and -0.7 fWAR in 256 plate appearances. His career averages are only slightly better: a .202/.278/.344 batting line, 22 home runs and 10 stolen base scattered across seven seasons. (It’s also worth noting that he’s never played more than 106 games in a single season before; prior to 2017, he had yet to make more than 60 appearances in any one major league gig.)
Still, the Mariners are in desperate need of additional catching depth with Mike Zunino still on the mend from an oblique injury. They jettisoned Triple-A backstop Tuffy Gosewisch on Thursday and are expected to utilize Herrmann as Tacoma’s primary catcher this spring. Per Curto, Herrmann has already been working out with the team and could be activated at any point.
The Marlins have announced that they have inked manager Don Mattingly to a two-year contract extensions. There’s a third year in the form of a mutual option.
Mattingly is finishing up the final year of the four-year contract he signed with the Marlins prior to the 2016 season. He’s 272-364 in that period and the club has lost 99 games already this season. The current bad run, however, obviously corresponds with a massive rebuild the team began undertaking following the 2017 season and the team’s change in ownership. Mattingly has not had much to work with over the past two seasons but he has likewise, largely, kept the team on as even a keel as one could hope under the circumstances. He has certainly impressed the Marlins’ brass enough to take the unusual step of keeping on a manager they inherited from a previous ownership and front office group.
In other news, the Marlins also announced a two-year contract extension for shortstop Miguel Rojas valued at $10.25 million. There’s a vesting option for a third year. The deal buys out Rojas’ final year of arbitration eligibility and one year of free agency, plus that option.
Rojas, 30, is hitting .285/.335/.383 (OPS+ 92) this year.