There were reports online yesterday that veteran backup catcher Ronny Paulino agreed to terms with the Mariners. We are still awaiting details of the contract – is it a major league deal and a spot on the 40-man roster, or a minor league deal with an invite to spring training?
Either way, Paulino has a real shot at winning the Mariners backup job. The team has only one catcher on the 40-man roster right now, and that is Jesus Montero. Prior to Paulino, the No. 2 catcher in the organization appeared to be Jesus Sucre, who I have penciled in as Tacoma’s everyday receiver to start the season.*
Paulino, 31, has roughly seven years of major league experience, including two seasons as the Pittsburgh Pirates starting catcher.
One interesting note for Rainiers fans: Paulino spent time in Triple-A Norfolk last year, logging 40 games there. It was his first minor league time since 2008. If he does sign a minor league contract, and somebody beats him out for the big league backup job, Paulino could be with the Rainiers this season.
On a totally different note, I learned today I will be able to attend the Mariners media event Wednesday and still make it back to town in time for a speaking engagement which I previously thought was at the same time. It’s not. So, I’ll have a full report on the Mariners event for you on Thursday – a report that will look at the Tacoma-related news of the day.
- We start with Larry Stone’s report from the Seattle Times on the Ronny Paulino acquisition.
- Jeff Sullivan analyzed Paulino’s strengths and weaknesses.
- Here is Paulino’s MLB statistics page.
- After what must have been a long internal debate (sarcasm alert!), the Mariners decided to induct Ken Griffey Jr into their Hall of Fame.
- Huh. The Astros signed Erik Bedard to a minor league deal. He could be an Oklahoma Redhawk!
- Speaking of the Astros, their former broadcaster Dave Raymond has a free guest piece in Baseball Prospectus. The section titled “Lots of Exposure, Not Enough Underwear” contains some sad truths about the current state of this business.
- Thinking of going to Arizona for spring training? Get some tips from Dave Cameron’s guide.
* I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: I just plain don’t believe that Mike Zunino is ready for Triple-A after only six weeks of professional baseball. Of course, he could prove me wrong in spring training.