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Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Mariners agree to one-year deal with catcher John Buck

His name is Buck.

The Mariners have agreed to a one-year contract with catcher John Buck, reports Jon Heyman of CBSSports.com. The deal is worth $1 million.

Buck, 33, hit .219/.285/.362 (84 OPS+) with 15 home runs in 431 plate appearances for the Mets and Pirates… Buck will be tasked with backing up and mentoring young Mike Zunino with Seattle.

The District Attorney Posted: January 14, 2014 at 07:10 PM | 22 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: john buck, mariners, transactions

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   1. madvillain Posted: January 14, 2014 at 07:15 PM (#4639043)
Is Montero even in their plans at this point? Is he even a prospect at this point? Seems a bit early to give up on the guy, although their were quite a few rumors about attitude problems in addition to just sucking on the field last year.
   2. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: January 14, 2014 at 07:28 PM (#4639047)
Buck will be tasked with backing up and mentoring young Mike Zunino with Seattle.

Is there any actual evidence that Zunino is ready for a starting gig in MLB?

I mean, he sucked last year in Sea, he sucked in AAA. You're banking an awful lot on 190 good PAs in 2012.

You could easily see Buck getting 400 PAs here.
   3. vortex of dissipation Posted: January 14, 2014 at 07:35 PM (#4639053)
Is Montero even in their plans at this point? Is he even a prospect at this point? Seems a bit early to give up on the guy, although their were quite a few rumors about attitude problems in addition to just sucking on the field last year.


They've given up on him at catcher, and moved him to first base. With the double whammy of getting hurt last year, and getting suspended 50 games for PEDs in the Biogenesis scandal, he's not being counted on at all. The Mariners will see how he adjusts to his new position in the minors, and then re-evaluate as needed...
   4. Davo Dozier Posted: January 14, 2014 at 08:06 PM (#4639082)
Wait, Montero got suspended for PEDs? Totally missed that.

Is he still suspended for 2014 games, or is he ready to go opening day?
   5. Good cripple hitter Posted: January 14, 2014 at 08:10 PM (#4639088)
Montero accepted his suspension on August 5th, so he'll be able to get into games once the minor league season starts.
   6. Crispix reaches boiling point with lackluster play Posted: January 14, 2014 at 08:45 PM (#4639103)
Is he still suspended for 2014 games, or is he ready to go opening day?

He got the arbitrator to reduce it to 1,600 games.
   7. madvillain Posted: January 14, 2014 at 09:05 PM (#4639113)
Is there any actual evidence that Zunino is ready for a starting gig in MLB?

I mean, he sucked last year in Sea, he sucked in AAA. You're banking an awful lot on 190 good PAs in 2012.


Doesn't seem like he's ready at all, and they could be doing great harm to his career rushing him. Last year, at least from my impression as just someone in Seattle that's a baseball fan, but not of the Mariners, is that they sold the idea that 2013 was the year that all the youth would hit big time, including Montero. When they were 20 games out in July and Montero was a footnote to the season, they decided to call up Zunino in hopes of selling a few more tickets and keeping the narrative going. He had a very good half season in AA after being drafted, struggled mightily in AAA in 2013, and then continued to struggle in MLB.

Of course, they traded a 2 WAR catcher in Jaso for Morse, in a trade every single thinking fan was right to be in up in arms about (and proven right in spectacular fashion as Morse was barely replacement level while Jaso again proved an elite backup catcher).

I just looked and despite his awful slash line of 214/290/329, Zunino was credited with .2 bWAR in 2013. Guess if you're a catcher that can actually catch and can OPS 620 you're better than replacement these days.
   8. valuearbitrageur Posted: January 14, 2014 at 09:44 PM (#4639129)
Safeco Multiyear park factor 92, I'm surprised it's that high.
   9. bookbook Posted: January 14, 2014 at 10:09 PM (#4639145)
Crispix, definite primey material.

Jesus Montero might earn his way back into the picture, but the M's won't pretend he's a catcher again. (Being blocked by Justin Smoak and Logan Morrison isn't exactly finding yourself bricked in behind an impenetrable wall.)

Agreed that Zunino probably should be in Tacoma again, but I think he'll do better--even this year--than M's fans have grown accustomed to from the position.

With John Buck and Corey Hart, the M's have made a couple of not exciting, but also not terrible moves given their needs and who was available. In Seattle, ever since the days of Woody Woodward this qualifies as a minor miracle.
   10. billyshears Posted: January 14, 2014 at 10:32 PM (#4639150)
Surprised Buck didn't get more than this. Good D, good clubhouse guy with some pop. I would have taken him back on the Mets for that price.
   11. Bob Tufts Posted: January 14, 2014 at 11:02 PM (#4639170)
Is he still suspended for 2014 games, or is he ready to go opening day?


Someone in the hearing suggested that perhaps Montero should also he suspended for the playoffs, but gales of laughter at the thought of October baseball in Seattle stopped that punishment in its tracks.
   12. SteveM. Posted: January 14, 2014 at 11:19 PM (#4639184)
I am confused. This thread has nothing to do with ARod, but actual baseball news.
   13. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: January 14, 2014 at 11:22 PM (#4639187)
(7) Yeah. It seems like typical bad team behavior. Rush a prospect to try and show progress to save the GM's job.
   14. Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Griffin (Vlad) Posted: January 15, 2014 at 08:19 AM (#4639270)
Buck didn't do much with the Pirates after they picked him up, but he seems like a nice enough guy, and I'm glad to see him earn a decent deal from somebody.
   15. AROM Posted: January 15, 2014 at 09:52 AM (#4639308)
Wait, Montero got suspended for PEDs? Totally missed that.


If he had 654 career homers instead of 22, I'm sure we all would have heard.
   16. Infinite Joost (Voxter) Posted: January 15, 2014 at 11:04 AM (#4639368)
Is Montero even in their plans at this point?


This implies that the Mariners have plans. They don't. All they have is Jack Z's raging against the dying of the light.

No, Zunino's not ready. He had a sub-300 OBP in AAA last year. He has serious pop and can field the position, but he needs more time in the minors to work on his contact skills. He won't get it, because the Mariners are in exactly that kind of last-gasp-of-a-bad-GM moment in which a bunch of risks get taken, regardless of their odds. Every now and again that kind of thing works out, but the odds are hard against it.

All jokes aside, I don't think anybody is counting on Montero. If he's not a catcher, he's not really much of a prospect, especially because he hasn't hit at any level in years. No, he's not blocked by much, but the fact is that he isn't much. Getting anything out of the various youngish ex-prospects the Mariners have at 1B would be pure gravy. In reality, I think it's fair to expect the position to be a sucking maw this season.

This is a team built on two big stars and a lot of wishcasting. One feels weird doing this, but I can only hope that they suck hard enough this year that Z gets fired, and the powers that be get another roll of the dice when it comes to their GM choice.
   17. RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: January 15, 2014 at 11:07 AM (#4639371)
If he's not a catcher, he's not really much of a prospect


Boy, what an exciting trade that was that ending up being a total dud for both teams.
   18. Crispix reaches boiling point with lackluster play Posted: January 15, 2014 at 11:15 AM (#4639374)
Pineda was an All-Star in 2011, so he'll fit in on the Yankees in 2010 or so.
   19. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: January 15, 2014 at 11:22 AM (#4639380)
No, Zunino's not ready. He had a sub-300 OBP in AAA last year. He has serious pop and can field the position, but he needs more time in the minors to work on his contact skills. He won't get it, because the Mariners are in exactly that kind of last-gasp-of-a-bad-GM moment in which a bunch of risks get taken, regardless of their odds. Every now and again that kind of thing works out, but the odds are hard against it.

This is exactly why you should never have a "lame-duck" GM, or any senior executive. If the guy needs a stellar year to avoid being fired, just fire him now.

If you can't say "I want this guy to be my GM for the next 3 years", you shouldn't want him to be your GM this year.
   20. if nature called, ladodger34 would listen Posted: January 15, 2014 at 12:20 PM (#4639470)
Isn't this the sort of situation where the team needs a strong president type? I think alot of Neddie's bad moves in the past were McCourt driven (the Santana-Blake deal) and now that Kasten is running things (and to be fair, the Dodgers have gobs of money) those sort of deals won't happen again.
   21. A triple short of the cycle Posted: January 15, 2014 at 12:30 PM (#4639480)
Jaso again proved an elite backup catcher
Until he was knocked out for the season with concussions. Not sure he is even cleared to play yet.
   22. Infinite Joost (Voxter) Posted: January 15, 2014 at 12:35 PM (#4639484)
This is exactly why you should never have a "lame-duck" GM, or any senior executive. If the guy needs a stellar year to avoid being fired, just fire him now.


I feel this way, too. If you're only willing to give a guy enough rope to hang himself with, you might as well just put him out of his misery. Jack Z is in this position now.

The only problem, really, is that I don't trust the M's to hire anybody better. This operation has been clownshoes from top to bottom ever since Gillick left town.

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