Mariners Add Catching, Bullpen Depth

Today the Seattle Mariners announced that they have re-signed catcher Humberto Quintero to a minor league contract, with an invitation to Major League spring training.

Quintero addresses that catching depth issue that I mentioned on Thursday. He’ll have a good chance to break spring training camp as Mike Zunino‘s back-up in Seattle. The only other catcher on the Mariners 40-man roster is Jesus Sucre, and he has two option years remaining so he can be sent to Tacoma.

Catcher, of course, is a position where injuries frequently occur. The team needs to have players like Quintero and Sucre in the organization – heck, even adding another veteran for Triple-A is probably a good idea. Last year the Mariners used a franchise record seven different catcher in the majors. That was a rarity, but using 4-5 catchers in a season isn’t unusual.

On Friday the Mariners officially announced the minor league signings of Cole Gillespie and Matt Palmer, plus they added one more name to the potential Rainiers mix: veteran reliever Ramon Ramirez.

Ramirez has had several very good major league seasons – you can check out his career stats right here. Last year he spent about half of the season in Fresno, even pitching against the Rainiers at one point.

At this point in the off-season, Ramirez – if healthy – appears to have a good chance of making the Mariners bullpen. But he did sign a minor league deal, and he spent part of last year in the PCL, so there is definitely a chance he could be on the Rainiers in April.

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Pitchers and catchers report to spring training on February 12. That’s like only five weeks from now!

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